by Corryn Wetzel/Smithsonianmag.com
An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted unanimously last Friday to recommend a Johnson & Johnson booster shot for the roughly 15 million Americans who received the one-dose Covid-19 vaccine. The company told the FDA that an extra dose of the vaccine boosts protection as early as two months after the initial shot, and might be more effective when given after six months. Experts say the recommendation, which applies to those 18 and older, could be accepted by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as early as the end of the week.
The announcement comes a day after the panel recommended booster shots of the Moderna vaccine for certain groups, and a month after the group recommended Pfizer-BioNTech boosters. During the meeting, Johnson & Johnson presented data from early studies showing their vaccine’s protection remained largely stable over time, but that a second dose offers a much-needed bump in protection, according to NPR’s Scott Hensley. A CDC study released last month found that the J&J vaccine was around 68 percent effective against Covid-19 hospitalization, compared to 93 percent for Moderna and 88 percent for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Read More: