Moderna, FDA, Npr News discussed on All Things Considered


All things considered right now and you will be entered into that drawing for the $1000 lows you gift card And now back to all things considered a 90.1 It's all things considered from NPR news I'm Sarah mccammond in Washington And I'm Elsa Chang in Los Angeles with today's developments on booster shots Advisers to the FDA voted to recommend a booster dose for everyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine They say it could help improve immunity for the 15 million people who receive that shot and here to tell us more is impure health reporter ping Wang hi ping Hey Elsa All right so tell us more about this recommendation by the FDA's advisers today Yeah so all 19 members of the FDA's vaccine advisory committee voted to recommend a second shot of the J&J vaccine And this is for anyone 18 and older who already got the vaccine and it should come at least two months after getting that first shot So a second shot was recommended because the J&J vaccine has been less effective than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and getting a second dose could bring it up to a similar level Now there are some open questions about whether the second shot should be considered a booster shot or just part of the primary course like should the J&J vaccine just be a two dose vaccine There's also questions about the timing of that second shot like maybe waiting until 6 months later it could make for an even stronger immunity boost But overall the vaccine committee looked at the evidence and said people who got the Johnson Johnson vaccine should get a second shot at least two months after so they're better protected against getting very sick from COVID And what about the evidence that these advisers took a look at How do they come to this conclusion Well the decision ended up unanimous but there were some real twists and turns in today's meeting to get there It kicked off this morning with a presentation from Johnson & Johnson and they were making the case that their vaccine was holding up well some studies they said show that immunity is lasting and it works against the delta variant And then FDA official Peter mark stepped in and said that's not the whole story There are data that suggest the effectiveness of this vaccine is actually less robust than the company's presentation here Amanda Cohen a committee member from the CDC says that their data shows that the J&J vaccine just hasn't been as protective as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines the so called mRNA vaccines In fact in the U.S. the J&J vaccine has been just 68% successful at keeping people from getting hospitalized with COVID Which is both lower than what we thought from that real world effectiveness presentation And it's also substantially lower than the mRNA vaccine in comparison Moderna has been more than 90% effective The bottom line here is that the J&J vaccine was less effective than Pfizer or Moderna to start with and there's still a gap So the panel's recommendation now is that anyone 18 and older who got one dose of the J&J vaccine should go get another Now this is different from the recommendation they made yesterday for the Moderna booster that one was limited to those 65 and older and others at high risk of getting COVID and that's partly because the first two doses seem to be holding up well in most people for the Moderna shot Exactly Okay so if you got the Johnson & Johnson get a booster shot All right I also understand that there was some talk at the meeting today about mixing and matching booster shots Is that right Yeah that's right There was a presentation of a government funded study today that seems to show that following the J&J vaccine with an mRNA shot particularly Moderna could be better than getting another J&J shot and that it can sometimes produce higher levels of antibodies Now that's not a formal recommendation at the moment Like caveat there is that the study is small and ongoing Still committee member Oprah levy at Harvard Medical School professor says the results are important because it can help guide people to make more informed decisions Many Americans are taking matters into their own hand and.

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