New Delhi: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of third doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines against the novel COVID-19 for eligible individuals. Along with this, FDA also approved "mix and match" booster doses for currently available approved COVID-19 vaccines.
“The use of a single booster dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older," FDA said in a press release.
"The use of each of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or "mix and match") booster dose among the eligible individuals following completion of primary vaccination with a different available COVID-19 vaccine," the FDA added.
On Wednesday (October 20, 2021), the agency authorised the use of a single booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after completion of the primary shots to people 65 years of age and older, 18 through 64 years of age at high risk of severe Covid-19, and 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2, Xinhua news agency reported.
As for the Johnson & Johnson booster dose, the FDA authorised the use of a single booster dose at least 2 months after completion of the single-dose primary regimen to individuals 18 years of age and older.
A single booster dose of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines may be administered as a "mix and match" booster dose following completion of primary vaccination with a different available Covid-19 vaccine, according to the FDA.
For instance, a person who got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine could receive one from Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech as a booster.
"The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated," said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement.
"The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against Covid-19 disease."
It may be noted that the decision came after an FDA advisory committee voted last week to recommend authorizing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson`s Covid-19 booster doses.
Earlier in September, the agency approved usage of the first booster shots for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, allowing a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine be administered at least 6 months after completion of the primary series to individuals 65 years of age and older, and 18 through 64 years of age with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
A recent study of the "mix and match" approach funded by the US National Institutes of Health found no safety concerns using different vaccines as a booster.
The study found that people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine produced stronger antibody levels after they got booster shots made by Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, compared to boosters from Johnson & Johnson.
(With Agency inputs)