It can be difficult to keep up with the progress of coronavirus vaccine recalls without a dashboard.
The Food and Drug Administration’s panel of expert advisers are expected to vote this week on whether to recommend booster shots for two of the three vaccines used in the United States, those from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, for the recipients of each vaccine. .
The agency has already cleared booster shots of the third, Pfizer-BioNTech, for some groups who received this vaccine initially, including adults 65 years of age and older and residents of long-term care facilities. Third doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have also been authorized for some people with weaker immune systems, who may not have obtained full protection against the original two doses.
All three vaccines initially offer very strong protection against infection, serious illness and death from Covid-19. The boost for the boosters comes from studies suggesting that while this protection remains strong against serious illness and death, it may wane somewhat over time and could allow more infections, especially from the highly contagious Delta variant. The decline tends to be more pronounced in older people and those with certain underlying medical conditions.
Here is an overview of the booster shot situation for the three vaccines available in the United States.
What you will get: A third full dose, at least six months after the second.
Where it is located in the United States: Available now for many people. The FDA has cleared third injections for people over 65, people with certain medical conditions, and others who are at high risk because of where they work or live. (Some people who are immunocompromised may receive a third injection a month after their second.) The agency has postponed the decision whether or not to allow boosters for other people.
Where it is located elsewhere: Israel and some other countries widely administer Pfizer-BioNTech booster injections.
What the science says: The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to gain full approval in the United States (for ages 16 and over), the first to be licensed for certain children (for ages 12 to 15), and the first to be licensed for children. reminders; the data available on its safety and effectiveness are particularly strong. Some studies suggest that the effectiveness of the vaccine may decrease a bit more over time than the Moderna vaccine.
What you will get: Half a dose, at least six months after your second full dose.
Where it is located in the United States: Awaiting clearance as a recall for the same population groups that are now eligible for a Pfizer recall. (Some people who are immunocompromised may receive a third full dose a month after the second.)
Where it is located elsewhere: Some countries are offering Moderna recalls or are planning to do so soon.
What the science says: Some studies suggest that the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine decreases less than the other two vaccines available in the United States. This may mean that Moderna recipients have less need to obtain boosters. Taking this into account, a report from FDA staff took a neutral stance on Moderna’s recall application.
What to know about Covid-19 booster injections
The FDA has cleared booster shots for a select group of people who received their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago. This group includes: Pfizer beneficiaries who are 65 years of age or older or who live in long-term care facilities; adults who are at high risk for severe Covid-19 due to an underlying medical problem; healthcare workers and others whose jobs put them at risk. People with weakened immune systems may receive a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna four weeks after the second injection.
Regulators have yet to clear the booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients, but an FDA panel is due to meet to weigh the booster shots for adult Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients.
The CDC said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.
The FDA has cleared the boosters for workers whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; correctional workers; workers in the US postal service; public transport workers; employees of grocery stores.
It is not recommended. For now, recipients of the Pfizer vaccine are advised to be vaccinated by Pfizer, and recipients of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson must wait until booster doses from these manufacturers are approved.
Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy websites allow people to schedule a flu shot along with a booster dose.
Johnson & johnson
What you will get: A second dose, probably six months after the initial dose.
Where it is located in the United States: Awaiting authorization. A report from FDA staff revealed significant gaps in the data the company submitted with its application, but it was not clear whether that would delay a decision.
Where it is located elsewhere: No country has yet recommended second doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
What the science says: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides strong initial protection after one dose, but not as strong as the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.