CDC panel backs expanded booster rollout, mixing of COVID vaccines

Coronavirus

A medic places two vials of COVID-19 coronavirus vaccines (L to R): Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, on a table before administering doses at a Clalit Health Services Medical Centre in east Jerusalem on August 10, 2021. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions more Americans are closer to getting a COVID-19 booster as influential government advisers on Thursday endorsed extra doses of all three of the nation’s vaccines – and said people could choose a different company’s brand for that next shot.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say certain Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients should qualify, too. And in a bigger change, the panel opened the option of “mixing and matching” that would allow a different vaccine for the extra dose than the kind people first received.

The Food and Drug Administration had already authorized such an expansion of the nation’s booster campaign on Wednesday, but the CDC, guided by its advisory panel, has the final word on who should roll up their sleeves. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to rule soon.

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