CDC Endorses Boosters for Moderna and J&J Vaccines

October 22, 2021

Last night, the CDC endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation in favor of booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines. The Moderna vaccine has been endorsed for use as a booster vaccine (at least 6 months after the primary series) in the following populations:

  • those 65+ years in age
  • those 18+in long-term care settings
  • those 18+ who have certain underlying medical conditions
  • those 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings

The J&J vaccine has been recommended for persons 18+ years of age, 2 months after their primary dose.

Unlike the Moderna booster (which is a half dose at 50 micrograms), Pfizer and J&J booster doses will measure the same as the primary series. Those who are immunocompromised and completing a primary series as well as an additional dose, are recommended to utilize vaccines from the same manufacturer. Those who are “moderately to severely” immunocompromised and received a J&J primary series, should receive a 50 microgram dose of the Moderna vaccine should they decide to mix-and-match between the primary series and booster. Those who receive a third, 100 microgram dose of the Moderna vaccine due to their immunocompromised status, should not get a 4th booster shot from Pfizer or J&J at this time (1).

It was emphasized that those who completed a primary series of COVID-19 vaccination are still considered fully immunized. The Moderna and J&J vaccines have been shown to remain protective with only a slight decline in efficacy over time.