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Experts discuss booster options for Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Fifty-five percent of eligible El Paso County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Three recent studies found waning protection over time against symptomatic infection, which prompted officials to put a booster plan in motion beginning September 20.(KKTV)
Published: Aug. 21, 2021 at 10:01 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/CNN) - White House officials announced their plan to offer a booster shot to fully vaccinated Americans who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, citing new evidence of waning vaccine protection against symptomatic infection over time.

However, where does that leave the Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients when it comes to boosters?

In the U.S., there are three COVID-19 vaccines with emergency-use authorization. Two of them are double-dose mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Top U.S. health officials now say a booster is needed for adequate protection.

“If you are fully vaccinated, you still have a high degree of protection from the worst outcomes of COVID-19 severe disease, hospitalization and death,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States said.

For the two mRNA vaccines, three recent studies found waning protection over time against symptomatic infection, which prompted officials to put a booster plan in motion beginning September 20.

The booster dose will be available for adults who got their second dose of vaccine eight months ago.  All pending the green light from the FDA and CDC.

What about those who received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine? They too will likely need a booster.

“The J & J vaccine was not administered in the U.S. until March of 2021 and we expect more data on J & J in the coming weeks,” Murthy said.

When that data comes in, U.S. health officials say they’ll keep Americans up to date on a timely plan for booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well.

“This remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator said.

Meanwhile, the push to get shots in arms continues. In the past two weeks, a fifth of all new US vaccinations have been among adolescents.

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