CDC Endorses Boosters for Moderna, J&J, Mixing Shots

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson brands, including taking different shots for the booster compared to the initial inoculation.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky gave her final approval late Thursday after an advisory panel unanimously endorsed the boosters, marking the final step before the vaccine boosters are made available to the public.

“There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. Eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose,” the CDC announced on its website late Thursday. “Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received and others, may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.”

The latest CDC recommendations align with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of the Moderna and J&J booster doses on Wednesday. The CDC noted that its latest guidance “should not distract from the critical work of ensuring that unvaccinated people take the first step and get an initial COVID-19 vaccine.”

More than 65 million Americans remain unvaccinated.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met Thursday and voted to recommend booster doses for everyone 18 and older who received a first dose of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine at least two months earlier. Nearly 15 million people in the United States had received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

For those who received their second dose of Moderna’s vaccine at least six months earlier, ACIP recommended a third shot for those age 65 and over, as well as some individuals at risk of severe illness and those at high risk of exposure to the virus through their jobs. The Moderna booster dose will be 50mg, which is half the strength used for the first two shots.

Those eligible for the Moderna booster are those aged 65 and older, as well as those 18 and older who have underlying medical conditions, live in long-term care settings, or work or live in high-risk settings.

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

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