Pfizer, Moderna Vaccine Preference Applies to Boosters, CDC Says
(Bloomberg Law) -- People who got a Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine in the U.S. should seek a messenger RNA booster shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clarified Monday to Bloomberg Law.
The preference for boosters made by Pfizer-BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc. follows the agency’s decisionlast week to recommend mRNA vaccines over J&J’s, as the one-shot vaccine developed with a different platform has been linked to rare but serious blood clots.
“With the new preferential recommendation that means that our recommendation for a booster at least two months after a J&J vaccine would [be] for an mRNA dose,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund wrote in an email. “If you have had a booster dose of any COVID-19 vaccine, you do not need to be revaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”
Moderna released preliminary data on Monday showing a third dose of its vaccine—a 50-microgram booster, following two 100-microgram shots—produced a 37-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the omicron variant. Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE said earlier this month that a third shot of their vaccine restored protection to a level similar to the initial two-dose regimen against the original virus.
A study published in October found an mRNA vaccine booster after a J&J primary shot may offer the best antibody protection, and a Moderna booster specifically after a J&J primary vaccine produced the highest antibody response. That study used a 100-microgram booster and not the 50-microgram dose that’s currently being administered as a Moderna booster.
Most Americans who received a booster after a J&J shot appear to be mixing and matching their shots. According to CDC data, about 3 million of the 17 million U.S. residents who received a J&J shot have gotten a booster. Out of those 3 million, 1.23 million have opted for Moderna’s booster, and 949,000 received Pfizer’s booster. Just 27% of that population, or about 834,000, took J&J’s booster.
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