An independent Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Friday unanimously voted to recommend booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
CNBC reports the panel recommends booster doses to everyone 18 and over who’s already received J&J’s first shot at least two months after the initial shot.
“I’m inclined to just consider this a two-dose vaccine. That’s how it should probably go forward,” said committee member Dr. Michael Kurilla, who is an infectious disease expert with the National Institutes of Health.
A final decision by the FDA is expected in the coming days. From there, an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to decide who should get boosters and when.
The news arrives less than a month after J&J released data showing that boosters complementing its single-shot vaccine provided increased protection.
According to its study, a booster shot at two months (56 days) after the initial provided 100 percent protection against severe COVID-19, at least 14 days post-final vaccination. It is also said to provide 75 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 globally, as well as 94 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in the U.S.
“A single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that is easy to use, distribute, and administer, and that provides strong and long-lasting protection is crucial to vaccinating the global population,” Paul Stoffels, who serves as the Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee at J&J, said in September. “At the same time, we now have generated evidence that a booster shot further increases protection against COVID-19 and is expected to extend the duration of protection significantly.”
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