Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines are now all approved for booster shots, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday.

The single-dose booster shots are authorized with certain limitations for each vaccine.

People 18 and older can receive the Johnson & Johnson booster shot at least two months after their intitial vaccine dose.

The Pfizer booster may be administered for high-risk individuals 18 through 64 years old at least six months after becoming fully vaccinated.

A Moderna booster is available at least six months after becoming fully vaccinated, but only for people 65 and older or those 18 through 64 who are high-risk or frequently exposed to COVID-19.

The FDA also said that the three vaccines are heterologous, meaning people can receive a booster dose of a vaccine different than the initial one they received.

Unlike Pfizer and Moderna (both two-dose vaccines using mRNA technology) Johnson & Johnson was approved as a single dose vaccine that instead uses viral DNA to encourage a recipient’s body to create spike proteins against the virus. 

“What the advisors to the FDA felt is that, given the data that they saw, very likely, this [Johnson & Johnson] should have been a two dose vaccine to begin with,” Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview with ABC on Sunday.  

Researchers for Johnson & Johnson found a single dose 79% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, whereas this protection rate jumped to 94% with a booster shot two months after the first vaccine dose. 

“[This] recommendation is based on the totality of evidence, with clinical and real-world data showing that while a single shot offers strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19, a booster given after the single-dose primary vaccination increases protection, in particular against symptomatic COVID-19,” Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chief Scientific Officer for Johnson & Johnson Paul Stoffels said in a media release

Cal Poly Spokesperson Matt Lazier said in an email to Mustang News that 7% of fully vaccinated students and faculty had received Johnson & Johnson from an outside provider. This number was relatively small compared to the 62% of students and faculty who received Pfizer and 30% who received Moderna. 

The university offered Johnson & Johnson vaccines for about three weeks during the previous spring quarter, but will not do so in their next round of on-campus vaccinations

Lazier said what the university offers is based on what the state has available and is sometimes restricted depending upon the storage and temperature parameters for these vaccines that Campus Health and Wellbeing can accommodate. 

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