Moderna booster shot approvals: What’s next in Georgia

Here are the next steps before boosters can be expanded to more people:

  • Georgia’s Department of Public Health will wait for final decisions by federal agencies before mobilizing to give out any boosters for recipients of the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccines, a spokeswoman said. That final OK won’t happen until next week at the earliest.
  • On Thursday, Moderna boosters passed their first test as a committee of independent doctors and scientists voted 19-0 to advise the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow Moderna booster shots for some groups of people. Next, it will be up to the FDA staff, led by Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock, to authorize them or not.
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  • Friday, the same FDA advisory committee will weigh whether to allow Johnson & Johnson booster shots. They will also hear about a federal study underway looking into whether those who had the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine may benefit more from a booster of Moderna or Pfizer.
  • Next an advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will consider boosters in meetings Oct. 20 and 21. The CDC director decides what to recommend for the broader population. That’s what triggers big vaccine providers like Georgia DPH and pharmacies to mobilize.
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  • Pfizer booster shots were already approved for some groups last month. As of this week, Georgia has administered 114,502 booster shots, according to DPH.