FDA advisers unanimously recommend booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:38 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An FDA panel voted unanimously Friday to recommend a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the first dose.

The FDA will now consider the committee’s recommendation, but what does all of this mean for Alabamians who received the J & J shot?

About 15 million Americans rolled up their sleeve to get Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Many wanted that vaccine because it was only one shot.

J & J’s COVID vaccine had an overall efficacy of 72%.

Now, FDA advisers are recommending an extra dose to everyone 18 and older who got it.

Assistant State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health Dr. Karen Landers said the advisory’s recommendation is an important step in the fight against COVID-19, but she wants to remind people that there are still several hurdles to clear before those booster shots can roll out.

The FDA still has to act on the recommendation.

It then has to be cleared by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, and finally the CDC’s vaccine advisers will consider it.

“While this is very useful for recipients that have already had J & J we still need to remind people that if you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, come on in, get your vaccine ‘cause we’re not boosting our way out of this pandemic. We need to get people vaccinated with their primary series,” Dr. Landers said.

She said in terms of a rollout of J & J’s booster shot, ACIP is meeting on October 20th and 21st and their recommendation will then go to the CDC.

So, it won’t be at least until the end of the month before we could see booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

Dr. Landers said we’ll have to wait for the CDC’s guidance before that can happen.

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