J&J asks US FDA to authorize booster shots of Covid vaccine

Washington (AFP) –


Drug maker Johnson & Johnson asked the US Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday to authorize booster shots of its Covid-19 vaccine for people over the age of 18.

"Our clinical program has found that a booster of our Covid-19 vaccine increases levels of protection for those who have received our single-shot vaccine to 94 percent," said Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development at J&J.

J&J said that when a booster was given six months after the first shot, "antibody levels increased nine-fold one week after the booster and continued to climb to 12-fold higher four weeks after the booster," irrespective of age.

"We look forward to our discussions with the FDA and other health authorities to support their decisions regarding boosters," Mammen said.

President Joe Biden's administration announced plans in August for Americans vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines to get third shots.

Biden personally received a Covid-19 vaccine booster shot last month and told Americans still resisting vaccination they are damaging the country.

Biden received a third Pfizer dose in line with recently approved health guidance, which allows boosters for those 65 or older.

Also eligible for boosters are adults with high-risk medical conditions and those in jobs where they are frequently exposed to the virus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said data on Moderna and J&J boosters would be evaluated "in the coming weeks."