FDA approves mixing COVID-19 vaccines; authorizes Moderna and J&J boosters
The decision by the FDA marks a major step towards making booster shots more widely available to greater numbers of Americans.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved COVID-19 booster shots from both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's vaccines while allowing patients to get a brand different from the one they initially received.
The FDA decision will allow recipients of all three vaccines to mix the booster doses, once the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorses the practice.
"The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated," said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement. "The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease."
Woodcock went on to say that getting vaccinated still remains "the safest and most effective" method of preventing further cases of the virus.
Despite the FDA's approval of the booster shots, there are still certain eligibility requirements people need to meet in order to get them. Only senior citizens, as well as those who have compromised immune systems, qualify for a Moderna booster shot, according to reports.
As for J&J booster shots, the FDA expanded eligibility to all Americans, regardless of age or health history, who previously received the one-shot vaccine.
The FDA says the differing qualifications are due to the fact J&J's vaccine is made differently, and it already provides a lower level of protection than the other two vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to consult a panel of health experts on Thursday prior to issuing final guidance on booster shots from both companies.