PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A CDC advisory panel endorsed COVID boosters on Thursday. People who received the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are much closer to being able to get a booster shot.
Moderna’s booster, Johnson & Johnson’s booster and the possibility of mixing and matching were all FDA authorized but the CDC has the final decision.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
“CDC’s recommendations will not just address who should receive a booster but also include what vaccine they should receive, how and when,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.
Dr. Walensky issues the guidance and can break from the panel’s advice, which she did with Pfizer, deciding front-line workers should get it.
For Johnson & Johnson, the FDA authorized boosters for everyone ages 18 and older. For Moderna, they authorized seniors and those at high risk.
People don’t have to stick to get the same brand they received initially.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
“Mix and match really gives a good deal of flexibility to people,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Moderna’s booster, a low dose, would be given at least six months after the second dose and Johnson & Johnson’s two months after a first dose.
Federal regulators are taking action because there’s evidence the vaccines lose some effectiveness to varying degrees. Moderna’s seems to hold up the longest.
For now, the Pfizer and Moderna boosters are only recommended for high-risk groups, but that could change.
“I think that data’s really emerging that people over 40 probably would benefit and over time I could imagine even younger people getting it,” Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health, said. “My guess is that we’re all going to eventually end up needing boosters but we should be driven by the data.”MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
Health officials have said any booster is a good booster, but that people who received the Johnson & Johnson brand would benefit from getting a different booster with Moderna’s providing the best protection.