Johnson & Johnson Booster Shot ‘Likely’ Will Be Necessary, Surgeon General Says—Possibly With A Different Vaccine

Americans who have received Johnson & Johnsons Covid-19 vaccine will likely need a booster shot. According to Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, the government will still need to recommend a booster shot for Americans who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, the government has not yet received enough information, including data about whether the Johnson & Johnson shot may be combined with a different vaccine.

On March 6, a dose of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine was taken from a vial in Thornton,... [+] Colorado. Getty Images

The Key Facts

Murthy was asked by CNN Sunday whether Johnson & Johnson recipients need a booster shot. Murthy stated that government health officials think that booster shots are safe.

What to Watch

Murthy stated earlier this week, that more data regarding Johnson & Johnson booster shots will be available in the coming weeks.

Big Number

13.9 million. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that's how many Americans are currently fully vaccinated against Covid-19 using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This is compared to 91.7 million people vaccinated by the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination and 64.7 millions with Moderna.

Important Background

The federal government announced that Americans who have received the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines should receive a booster shot eight months after starting to get vaccinated. However, it did not provide any guidance for Johnson & Johnson recipients at that time. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine data is on a later timeline than the other shots. This is because the one-dose vaccine was approved in February but was not rolled out until March. Moderna and Pfizer received approval from the government in December. There are concerns that Covid-19 vaccines may lose effectiveness as they age. However, booster shots have been approved amid fears of a decline in efficacy. The vaccines have also shown a decrease in effectiveness against the delta variant. According to a recent study by New York University, the Johnson & Johnson shot may be less effective in preventing the delta variant of coronavirus infections than other strains. This contradicts an earlier study that the company had done.

Chief Critic

The World Health Organization (WHO), has condemned countries that administer booster shots to people who do not have adequate Covid-19 vaccines. This is to both combat vaccine inequity as well as protect the public from the risk of developing more serious coronavirus variants. Murthy admitted on ABC Sunday that the U.S. booster campaign would reduce the supply of vaccines in the rest of the world, but he pointed out the U.S. efforts to provide millions of vaccines for other countries.

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The New York Times: What You Need to Know about Boosters if you have the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

If I have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, do I need a booster? (Associated Press).

Biden Administration To Provide Covid-19 VaccineBooster Shots Starting September 20 (Forbes).

Stockpiling vaccines risks new variants emerging and rising covid cases, study finds.

Although Vaccines are less effective against Delta and Pfizers, protection wanes quickly. However, they are the best way to protect against covid according to large studies (Forbes).

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