FDA to meet this week on Moderna, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots

Regulators have only approved Pfizer booster shots for certain populations.

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
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Regulators have only approved Pfizer booster shots for certain populations.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Later this week, the Food and Drug Administration, with a panel of advisers, will decide if booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be safe for the general public.

"Once they're approved and I can get it, then I definitely will," said Deborah Tucker of Upper Chichester, Pennsylvania.

Tucker received the Moderna vaccine and said she has been waiting for the booster shot to be approved by the FDA.

"I'm 74, and at my age I certainly don't want to end up in the hospital on a ventilator. I've seen too many of those. I certainly can't imagine spending the last of your days in the hospital on a ventilator," said Tucker.

SEE ALSO: Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill

Regulators have only approved Pfizer booster shots for certain populations, like those ages 65 and older and those who are immunocompromised.

The Biden administration is trying to get more Americans vaccinated as the population fights the delta variant and vaccines losing their effectiveness over time.

"What we're seeing is antibody levels are falling as we expect. We're also seeing more reinfections, more hospitalizations, particularly among older more vulnerable people, compared to similar people who were vaccinated more recently," said Dr. Marci Drees, the infection prevention officer and hospital epidemiologist at ChristianaCare in Delaware.

Merck is asking the FDA to grant emergency use authorization for its COVID anti-viral pill.

The pharmaceutical company said it is a take-home pill that is supposed to reduce symptoms and speed up recovery if you get infected.

If the FDA clears the anti-viral pill, it could come in a matter of weeks. Officials say it would help ease the caseload at US hospitals.