The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
FROM
ISSUE
1640
In Brief: Booster Doses of mRNA-Based COVID-19 Vaccines for All Adults
Download PDF:   US English
Med Lett Drugs Ther. 2021 Dec 27;63(1640):201-2
Disclosures
Principal Faculty
  • Mark Abramowicz, M.D., President: no disclosure or potential conflict of interest to report
  • Jean-Marie Pflomm, Pharm.D., Editor in Chief: no disclosure or potential conflict of interest to report
  • Brinda M. Shah, Pharm.D., Consulting Editor: no disclosure or potential conflict of interest to report
Objective(s)
Upon completion of this activity, the participant will be able to:
  1. Review the recommendations for use of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in adults based on previous vaccination history.
 Select a term to see related articles  Comirnaty   COVID-19   Spikevax   vaccines   Vaxzevria 
Original online publication date: November 22, 2021
Updated: December 9, 2021

On November 19, the FDA expanded the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) for the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty) and Moderna (Spikevax) to include administration of a booster dose for all adults ≥18 years old after primary immunization with either the same COVID-19 vaccine or a different one.1 Booster doses of these vaccines were previously authorized only for select populations (age ≥65 years or persons at high risk for severe COVID-19). The EUA for the adenovirus-based vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson was amended in October 2021 to include administration of a booster dose for all adults ≥18 years old after primary immunization with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.2,3

Note: On December 9, the FDA expanded the EUA of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 to include a booster dose for adolescents 16-17 years old; the CDC endorsed use of booster doses in this age group. A full review of such use will be published in a future issue.

The CDC recommends a COVID-19 booster dose for all adults ≥18 years old.4 A single booster dose of either mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine can now be administered ≥6 months after a primary series of an mRNA-based vaccine or ≥2 months after a single primary dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in all adults ≥18 years old.5,6 A single booster dose of the adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to any adult ≥2 months after a single primary dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or ≥6 months after a primary series of an mRNA-based vaccine (see Table 1).7

Additional Content Available:
COVID-19 Vaccine Dosing Recommendations and Comparison Chart
COVID-19 Vaccine Comparison Chart

  1. FDA News Release. Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: FDA expands eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine boosters. November 19, 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/3FQS6S7. Accessed December 9, 2021.
  2. Booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Med Lett Drugs Ther 2021; 63:186.
  3. FDA News Release. Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: FDA takes additional actions on the use of a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines. October 20, 2021. Available at: https:/bit.ly/3vJJPLy. Accessed December 9, 2021.
  4. CDC News Release. CDC expands eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots to all adults. November 19, 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/3cFk1aJ. Accessed December 9, 2021.
  5. FDA. Fact sheet for health care providers administering vaccine (vaccination providers). Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). November 19, 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/37fX1NG. Accessed December 9, 2021.
  6. FDA. Fact sheet for healthcare providers administering vaccine (vaccination providers). Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). November 19, 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/3nosylA. Accessed December 9, 2021.
  7. FDA. Fact sheet for healthcare providers administering vaccine (vaccination providers). Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). November 19, 2021. Available at: https://bit.ly/3e6KEaD. Accessed December 9, 2021.
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