For Immediate Release
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There is a good chance that the Food and Drug Administration may allow Americans to get a booster shot from a different vaccine maker than their original doses.
The authorization, which could come as early as this week, is expected as part of the FDA’s decision to allow booster shots from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Currently, the FDA has only authorized Pfizer booster doses in certain populations.
Given that the J&J vaccine has been shown to be less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer shots, some recipients of the single-dose shot are hoping that the mix-and-match strategy can hopefully boost their protection against COVID-19, if and when an authorization is finally given. Preliminary results from a recent study have found that every combination of mixing and matching of the COVID-19 booster vaccine does increase one’s immune response without any safety concerns.
Last week, the FDA vaccine advisory committee unanimously recommended the use of booster shots for certain populations that received the Moderna vaccine series and for all adult J&J recipients. It is important to note that even though that the FDA doesn't have to follow the committee's recommendations, it most cases it does. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee is set to make its recommendations possibly this week, which could set the stage for millions of Americans to be eligible for booster shots.
In addition to expanding the accessibility of booster vaccines, the Pfizer vaccine could soon be available for children ages 5 to 11 by next month. The FDA's independent advisory committee meeting is scheduled for the beginning of next week, whereas the CDC's independent advisory committee meeting is set for the beginning of November. The Pfizer vaccine currently has full approval for use in adults, and the federal government has authorized it for emergency use in children ages 12-17.
Once approved, this new plan will allow more than 25,000 doctors’ offices, 100 children's hospital systems, as well as local pharmacies, schools and community health centers to offer the vaccine to this younger age group.
Here locally, Novant Health is tentatively planning a Pfizer vaccine clinic for children ages 5 to 11 years old on Saturday, November 13th from 8 am to 2 pm, at the J. F. Hurley YMCA. More information will be forthcoming. Please check are website, our Facebook page, and with our local media channels for more details.
In closing, please know that any of the above changes must be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) before they can be made available to the citizens in our state.
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Download Media Release COVID-19 - October 21, 2021 (PDF)