Health

FDA Approves Moderna and J&J Booster Shots — and Mixing Vaccine Brands

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If you’re looking to get a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration dropped a bunch of great news this morning. Not only are Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters now available, but you don’t necessarily have to get a booster from the same brand that you got your initial shot(s)!

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“Today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to public health in proactively fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD, said in the agency’s official press release. “As the pandemic continues to impact the country, science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death.”

Currently there are different requirements for getting a Covid-19 booster depending on which shot you first received. If you originally got a Moderna vaccine, you can get a booster if you’re 65 years of age or older, over the age of 18 and have a risk of severe Covid-19 symptoms, or are older than 18 and work in a field with frequent coronavirus exposure. For folks who initially received a Johnson & Johnson booster, it’s a little bit simpler. Because it has a lower efficacy than the Moderna or Pfizer jabs (though it’s still 71 percent effective against hospitalization!), if you’re 18 or older you can get a booster starting two months after your initial shot.

Moreover, unlike previous FDA guidances that recommended people get boosters from the same companies as their original doses, the agency now says that mixing vaccine brands is allowed, providing people with more options nationwide who may not be able to easily access a healthcare facility that carries a specific vaccine.

We’ve still got a long way to go in this pandemic, but getting a booster is a great way to protect yourself and those around you!

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