CDC sets panel meetings for J&J, Moderna boosters, child vaccines

CDC sets panel meetings for J&J, Moderna boosters, child vaccines
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A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel will meet Oct. 20 and 21 to discuss COVID-19 vaccine boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, respectively.

The meeting announcements suggest the CDC anticipates the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have authorized the booster shots by that point, following separate FDA advisory panel meetings next Thursday and Friday.

The panel will also discuss the available data on using a booster of a different vaccine than the one used for a person's primary series.   

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Both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are authorized for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older. People with severely compromised immune systems are also eligible for boosters, but the shots have not yet been cleared for the general population.

Additionally, the CDC panel will meet Nov. 2 and 3 to discuss pediatric COVID-19 vaccination for children ages 5 to 11.

FDA's panel is meeting Oct. 26 to vote on authorization for Pfizer's vaccine, and it is anticipated that the FDA will grant authorization shortly afterwards.

Once CDC accepts the panel's recommendation, the long-awaited pediatric vaccines could start being administered within days.

The government has purchased enough doses to give two shots to all 28 million eligible children, though the administration has not publicly shared how doses will be allocated across states.

The administration is working with states to make it easy for parents to vaccinate their children by setting up convenient times and places to administer the shots, including pediatricians’ offices.