CDC endorses booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, says mix and match is fine
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky endorsed recommendations for booster doses for Moderna's and Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus vaccines Thursday, allowing millions more Americans to begin getting booster shots.
The CDC re-aligned its recommendation for the existing recommendation for Pfizer boosters, placing Moderna's and Pfizer's boosters in the same category.
The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices had just hours earlier voted to accept the US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorizations for each vaccine -- after considerable discussion about whether such broad authorization was needed for Moderna's.
Members agreed that people who got Johnson & Johnson's vaccine need a second vaccination, as that vaccine is less effective than Moderna's and Pfizer's in preventing infection.
The pace of Americans getting booster doses is higher than the rate of those being vaccinated for the first time. CDC officials and others have made it clear the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus is to get more people vaccinated in the first place.
CDC officials said they'd issue more guidance on boosters in an upcoming report.
They said that young women, who have a higher risk of rare blood clots from the J&J Janssen vaccine, might want to consider using one of the mRNA vaccines -- Pfizer's or Moderna's -- as a booster, while young men, who have a higher risk of an inflammatory heart condition known as myocarditis from an mRNA vaccine, might prefer Janssen's vaccine for a booster if needed.
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