A group of U.S. health advisors approved booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, saying they should be offered at least two months after immunization.
J&J asked the FDA to be flexible about the booster, arguing that the extra dose adds important protection as early as two months after the initial vaccination, but might work better if people wait up to six months later.
The FDA advisory panel voted unanimously that the booster should be offered without a fixed time frame. Consultants expressed growing concern that J&J recipients appear less protected than people who received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna – and that most of them received that single dose many months ago.
FDA Panel Approves Moderna COVID Vaccination With Lower Dose For Revaccination
The FDA is not bound by a vote, but its final decision could help expand the national support campaign.
The government says all three vaccines in the US continue to provide robust protection against hospitalization and death from COVID-19, and that getting the first shots for the unvaccinated is a priority. But there is a growing desire to strengthen protection against “breakthrough” infections and the extra-contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.
Pfizer vaccine booster doses began last month for people at high risk for COVID-19, and an FDA advisory panel has recommended the same approach for Moderna recipients.