Many Americans who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 will soon be able to choose which vaccine they would like as a booster after the Food and Drug Administration issued emergency authorizations Wednesday that throw open the door to mixing and matching of vaccine brands.
In newly issued emergency use authorizations for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines — and in a revision to the previous authorization of the Pfizer and BioNTech booster — the agency made clear that people do not have to get a third dose that matches their primary series.
“The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated,” acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said in a statement. “The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against Covid-19 disease.”
The authorizations will allow tens of millions of Americans to get Covid booster shots and — in a fundamental change of policy — effectively choose their booster. People in certain demographics who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine six months ago or more have been able to seek a Pfizer booster since late September. But with authorization of the Moderna and J&J boosters, people who got those vaccines too can seek a booster if, in the case of the Moderna vaccine, six months have elapsed since their second shot, and in the case of the J&J, two months have gone by since they received the single J&J jab.