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Johnson & Johnson Requests FDA Approval for Vaccine Booster Doses

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

Johnson & Johnson asked the FDA on Tuesday to authorize an extra dose of its COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot.

The company said it filed a request for people ages 18 and older who have received the one-shot vaccine. Johnson & Johnson submitted data for several different booster intervals ― ranging from 2 months to 6 months ― but didn’t formally recommend one to the FDA, The Associated Press reported.

“We’re describing the data to them,” Mathai Mammen, MD, head of global research and development for Janssen, the company’s vaccine division, told CNN.

“The process it not that we asked for a very specific interval ― we’re providing them data and we’re going to be presenting to the committee,” he said. “They’ll take all that into consideration when they ultimately decide on an appropriate interval.”

The FDA’s independent vaccine advisory committee meets next week to review data on booster shots from both Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. It’s the first step in the review process, which then requires approval from leaders at the FDA and CDC. If both agencies authorize the extra shots, Americans could receive boosters from Johnson & Johnson and Moderna later this month, the AP reported.

Johnson & Johnson previously released data that showed the vaccine remains highly effective against COVID-19 at least 5 months after vaccination, with 81% efficacy against hospitalizations in the U.S.

Two weeks ago, the company reported that a booster dose at 2 months or 6 months further lifted immunity, with a booster at 2 months providing 94% protection against moderate and severe COVID-19. The company said the 6-month booster raised antibodies by 12 times but didn’t release additional data at that time.

In September, the FDA authorized booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 65 and older, those who live in long-term care facilities, and those with higher risks for contracting COVID-19. The Biden administration is supporting a booster campaign to address potential waning vaccine immunity and remaining surges of the more contagious Delta variant, the AP reported.


The Associated Press: “J&J seeks US clearance for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses.”

CNN: “Johnson & Johnson asks FDA to authorize Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.”

Johnson & Johnson: “Johnson & Johnson Announces Real-World Evidence and Phase 3 Data Confirming Strong and Long-Lasting Protection of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S.”

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