Moderna, Johnson & Johnson boosters shots awaiting CDC approval

The Food and Drug Administration has added Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to the list of approved boosters. But the final decision on whether or not to approve them rests in the hands of the CDC.

The CDC is scheduled to vote on the issue later Thursday afternoon.

In the meantime, the FDA has approved both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots, and also approved the option to mix and match boosters, meaning you could get any booster you want regardless of which vaccine you initially got.

There are notable differences for each booster vaccine.

For the Johnson & Johnson, anyone 18 years old or older is recommended to get a booster just two months after the first shot.

For Moderna, the extra shot is given as just a half dose and done six months after the person is fully vaccinated. It’s only recommended for people above the age of 65 or at least 18 years old if they’re either high risk or have what’s called institutional or occupational risk.

Pfizer’s follows the same guidelines, but is given as a full dose.

As for the thought process behind the mixing and matching, FDA officials say their research backs up the effectiveness. More specifically, data from that apparently shows a benefit to mixing and matching for people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In the short term, they say it’ll also just make it easier for people to get the booster.

So today, the CDC vaccine advisers will make their decision. Then it goes to the CDC director for approval. It’s up to the director to make recommendations once the approval goes through.

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