Pa. doctor discusses FDA advisory panel's approval of Moderna booster shot

Some people who received Moderna's COVID-19 shot should get a half-dose booster to bolster protection, an FDA panel voted.

Maggie Kent Image
Thursday, October 14, 2021
Pa. doctor discusses Moderna booster shot
The panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID-19.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The White House says boosters for all three vaccines could be ready in weeks, pending CDC approval.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden assured the nation that supply is there, and reminded the public that booster shots are free.

"If they authorize the boosters, which will be strictly made, decision made based on the science, this will mean all three vaccines will be available for boosters," said Biden.

RELATED: Lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster endorsed by FDA panel

On Thursday afternoon, an FDA advisory committee unanimously voted to approve the Moderna booster shot.

Those eligible include people age 65 and older; those 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19; and people with increased exposure to coronavirus at work or in living situations.

Dr. Angela Nicholas, Chief Medical Officer of Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, said dosage is also important to note.

"They'll be looking at what is the appropriate dose that would create the immune response in your body for when you receive the vaccine," said Nicholas.

Moderna has suggested a half-dose for its single booster shot.

Jannsen will present its Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster vaccine information to the FDA on Friday.

The advisory panel will also discuss the mixing and matching of vaccine booster shots. This review comes after The National Institutes of Health announced study results that show receiving a different booster shot is not harmful to patients.

Nicholas said she understands that sudden changes in recommendations can lead to confusion and distrust.

"'Last week you said you can't mix shots, this week you can mix shots, I don't trust anything.' But what we found is we didn't have any data last week, and now we do," said Nicholas.

Next Wednesday and Thursday, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel will discuss boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky could sign off on the recommendations as early as next Friday.