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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recommended for booster

The FDA says adults who received the single-dose J&J shot should get a second vaccine at least two months after their first dose

ST. LOUIS — The Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine may now get a booster.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended Friday that all adults who received the single-dose J&J shot should get a second vaccine at least two months after their first dose.

At a Saturday community event in the parking lot of Power of Change Christian Church in Cahokia Heights, one health vendor was distributing the Pfizer vaccine.

Nytillia Young, with Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation, said, “We’ve been pretty steady. We’re on probably shot number seven, but it’s still early in the day. We’re giving first doses, second doses, and boosters.”

Are people talking about boosters much?

“Yes,” said Young. “We find a lot of people are interested in it.”

Bishop Henry Phillips said, “It’s so important that we help our people be healthy strong and that’s the reason why we support the vaccines here at the church.”

It comes a day after an FDA advisory committee recommended a booster shot for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. J&J shots were given at a March 25 vaccine clinic at St. Louis Community College, among others.

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Dr. Rachel Presti, an infectious disease physician, led the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trials at Washington University.

“So, this is a lot more data that two doses of J&J are important to bring your protection up to the levels we see with Pfizer and Moderna,” said Presti, “and that’s why I think the recommendation will be for everybody. So as long as you’re at least two months after your first J&J shot, you should get your second one.”

In the event J&J should receive full authorization for the booster, Bishop Phillips has a message for church members who are eligible.

“For those that already took the J&J,” said Phillips, “listen – go ahead on. Move forward and get all the healthcare you can with the product you’ve already started with.”

On Thursday, the same committee backed emergency use authorization for booster shots of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine, but not for everyone. The Moderna recommendation is for adults over the age of 65 and with conditions that put them at severe risk.

MORE: Moderna COVID-19 booster shots with lower-dose endorsed by FDA panel

The FDA will make an official decision on boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson in the coming days.

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