Statement on Moderna and J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Progress  

SACRAMENTO – Today, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly, and Director of the California Department of Public Health and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, issued a joint statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee recommendation for expanding the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to allow for booster doses.

“Vaccines are the key to ending this pandemic. This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee met to discuss the need for recipients of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to receive a booster dose, to maintain optimal protection against COVID-19. The research presented in these meetings continues to demonstrate the vaccines’ extreme effectiveness at reducing the risk of illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

However, some demographics are seeing their immunity wane and may need a booster dose to maintain optimal protection from COVID-19. California was pleased to see the following recommendations from the Advisory Committee:

  • Authorizing Moderna booster doses for people age 65 and older, or others at increased risk of contracting severe COVID-19 disease at least six months after completing the initial vaccine series. Similar to recipients of the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Authorizing Johnson & Johnson booster doses at least two months after the initial vaccine dose for those over the age of 18.

These recommendations will allow us to ensure that individuals are able to maintain a strong immunity to COVID-19. However, these recommendations are just the first step of the federal review process, and CDPH will wait to see what the FDA formally authorizes, as well as ​what the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends  to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and what our partners in the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup recommend before administering booster doses. When this process conclude​s, California is prepared to administer boosters immediately for all vaccine brands to those who are eligible.”