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People who received J&J vaccine will likely need booster, surgeon general says

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy on Sunday said people who received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine will likely also need a booster shot.

“We believe that J&J recipients will likely need a booster, but we are waiting on some data from the company about a second dose of J&J so the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] can fully evaluate the safety and efficacy of that dose,” Murthy told host Brianna Keilar on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The surgeon general sounded a similar note during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” telling host Martha Raddatz, “We anticipate the people who receive J&J will likely need a booster as well.”

When pressed on the safety of a booster shot, Murthy underscored that the administration’s plan for third shots is “continent on the FDA and the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Advisory Committee doing their full and independent evaluation.”

“Safety is absolutely essential in this process, and we would not execute a plan if the FDA did not weigh in and say that that third shot was in fact safe,” Murthy said.

He also told Keilar that “mixing studies” are underway to evaluate the effects of taking one type of vaccine followed by a dose of a different shot. Murthy said that includes what would happen if a Johnson & Johnson recipient was later inoculated with a Pfizer-BioNTech or Modera shot.

“As soon as that data is available, we can present that to the FDA, and they can also review it for safety,” Murthy said.

“And so as soon as those studies are done, we’ll have more to recommend to J&J recipients about the timing of a booster and which shot they should get,” he added.

The comments from Murthy come after the Biden administration announced last week that it is recommending booster shots for most Americans eight months after they took their second dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Top U.S. health officials cited data showing the waning protection of vaccines over time and the increased threat of the highly infectious delta variant when announcing the new recommendation.

The announcement was signed by Murthy, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, and acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock.

Tags Anthony Fauci Rochelle Walensky Vivek Murthy
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