White House senior medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci told ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor Martha Raddatz that recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccination need not be concerned about the shot’s decreased effectiveness now that boosters have been suggested.
“I believe they should feel good about it,” he said Sunday, “because the FDA advisors thought that, given the evidence that they reviewed, this should have been a two-dose vaccination, to begin with.”
On Friday, an FDA vaccine advisory group unanimously approved Johnson & Johnson vaccination booster injections. The panel advised all J&J patients 18 and older to have a booster shot as soon as two months after the initial dosage, in contrast to the Moderna and Pfizer boosters, which were only suggested for Americans 65 and older or in higher-risk categories.
The decision was made only days after preliminary findings from a National Institutes of Health research revealed that boosting with a different vaccination than one’s first injection seems to be safe and effective. Antibody levels were greater among J&J users who had a Moderna or Pfizer booster rather than a J&J booster, according to the research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Raddatz pushed Fauci on whether it would be preferable to mix and match vaccination boosters for J&J patients.
“However, Dr. Fauci, the panel was also examining at fresh evidence suggesting that J&J patients would be better off having a booster injection from the more effective Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.” Is that a more suitable option?” Raddatz was the one who inquired.
“The evidence you cite is correct,” Fauci added, “that when you boost patients who have previously got J&J with either Moderna or Pfizer, the amount of antibodies you induce in them is considerably higher than when you boost them with the original J&J.”
“However, you’re talking about laboratory data, which is typically indicative of what you’d observe clinically,” he continued. However, clinical data supports increasing the J&J first dosage with a J&J second dose. So what’s going to happen is that the FDA will look at all of those facts, compare them, and decide what they’re going to allow.”
The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will allow patients to mix and match vaccination boosters based on their particular health conditions, according to Fauci.
The question now is when Moderna and Pfizer boosters will be made available to the general public, since that the FDA has endorsed J&J boosters for a larger number of Americans.
Fauci stated that the FDA is on pace to approve the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11 in early November.
With children ready to go trick-or-treating and the holidays approaching, Raddatz asked Fauci for advice on how to celebrate the forthcoming holidays.
“I think firmly that you can enjoy the holidays if you’re vaccinated and your family members are vaccinated, those who are eligible, that is clearly very small children are not yet eligible,” he added. “You may have a good time with your family on Halloween, trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.”