U.S. health regulators poised to make call on COVID-19 booster doses

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US regulators are expected to rule Wednesday on authorizing booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, a Food and Drug Administration official said at a government meeting.

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The US FDA’s Doran Fink previewed “some announcements later today” expected to include allowing mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster doses between three US manufacturers – Pfizer, Moderna and J&J.

Fink appeared at a meeting of vaccine experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who is expected to take the FDA’s decision and make its recommendations Thursday.

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Several million Americans have already received a third shot to promote Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

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Last week, the FDA’s panel of independent experts unanimously recommended broadening the booster campaign to include recipients of the two-dose Moderna vaccine and J&J’s one-shot vaccine. Most experts also agreed that the use of a different booster brand appeared to be safe and effective for revealing protection. The FDA is not required to follow the group’s advice, although it generally does.

“The FDA has been very busy since last Friday in completing our review and working toward authorization of vaccine applications,” said Fink, a deputy director in the FDA’s Vaccine Division.

Booster recommendations won’t be official until CDC directors confirm who should receive them and when.

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