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Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine closer to full approval for booster shots

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Posted at 8:55 AM, Oct 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 11:55:39-04

A vaccine advisory group with the U.S Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously Friday to recommend a booster dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

As of now the only Covid-19 vaccine that has the green light for boosters is Pfizer.

While Moderna and J&J booster shots are now recommended by an FDA advisory group, there are still a couple of steps to go.

"It’s quite a process and it moves pretty quick and it's usually within a week or so. So it’s first the advisory committee then the FDA as a whole body weighs on it and says yes or no,” said Dr. Brian Roberts at Med Stop Urgent Care in San Luis Obispo.

After that, the CDC reviews the data and makes their own recommendations, and the Western States Scientific Review workgroup meets, and ultimately the final determination is made.

Medical experts say boosters are necessary due to the ever-changing mutation the Covid-19 virus has shown in the past year.

"These vaccines lose a little of their effectiveness and so the boosters will help mitigate that problem,” Dr. Roberts added.

Johnson and Johnson say studies have shown boosting at two or six months can bring the effectiveness up to 94%.

Residents like Cherise Powell who's gotten her Pfizer booster shot said she's happy to hear the others are closer to the approval line.

"Go for it, get it done, it's the only way we are going to get the economy and everything back on track,” Powell said.

As more people continue to get vaccinated, Dr. Roberts adds he has yet to see patients severely sick who have the vaccine.

"I don't think we have sent anyone to the hospital fully vaccinated with Covid. We have sent many patients to the hospital from this clinic who have been unvaccinated and with Covid,” said Roberts.

The CDC is set to meet next week to discuss both Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccine booster approval.

If approved Moderna boosters will be recommended for the same age group Pfizer boosters were recently recommended six months after the second dose and J&J boosters will be for those 18+ two months after their initial dose.