U.S. CDC advisers weigh Moderna, J&J COVID-19 vaccine boosters, mix-and-match shots




  • In US
  • 2021-10-21 16:47:32Z
  • By Reuters
 

(Reuters) -A panel of advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday are considering several recommendations for rollout of COVID-19 vaccine boosters from Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson, expected to pave the way for additional shots for millions of Americans.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized the booster doses U.S. FDA clears Moderna, J&J COVID-19 boosters, backs use of different vaccine for boost, and said Americans can choose a different shot from their original inoculation.

The CDC is expected to sign off in the coming days on the recommendations of the panel for a booster rollout that health officials and public health experts said could be confusing.

"I think at the moment, it really is quite confusing," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a non-voting member of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Schaffner noted that there are several categories of eligibility just for the Pfizer booster doses, and the FDA just added two more vaccine boosters to the mix.

"I hope, certainly by the end of this day, that we will have some more coherence. But I think it will remain fairly complicated," he said.

The FDA and CDC previously signed off on booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE for those age 65 and over, as well as individuals at high risk or severe illness and those at risk of exposure to the virus through their jobs.

In a nod to the advisory panel's task ahead, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky laid out its charge in helping clarify any confusion about the various booster regimens.

"These recommendations will not just address who should receive a booster dose, but also include what vaccine they should receive," she said at the start of the meeting.

The panel is set to vote on booster dose recommendations later on Thursday, which will be sent to Walensky for review.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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