Moderna and J&J COVID-19 vaccine boosters authorized

Updated: Dec 9, 2021

Reports and clinical trial data have provided firsthand evidence of diminished immunity from the COVID-19 vaccines over time.

Many reports show unexpected death among mostly older and immunocompromised individuals, even after being fully vaccinated, from COVID-19 infection. For younger individuals, one clinical trial shows a 36-40% higher chance of a breakthrough infection for people who received Moderna’s vaccine in 2020 compared to those vaccinated in 2021. Another report among vaccinated healthcare workers shows reduced efficacy of Moderna’s vaccine; approximately 88% effectiveness against any COVID symptoms and 72.7% against asymptomatic infection – a decline from around 96% effectiveness against symptomatic disease and 90% against asymptomatic infection.

Interestingly enough, the effectiveness of the J&J shot does not seem to be waning overall; rather the antibody levels after a J&J shot increase over time, and the amount of T cells remains steady for a period of up to eight months.

Still, the coronavirus has found ways to evade protection from vaccine antibodies, reducing the effectiveness of preventing hospitalizations and moderate to severe disease, potentially due to the emergence of viral variants. To circumvent these factors, the FDA recently authorized the use of a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccines for eligible people who previously got Moderna’s or J&J’s COVID-19 vaccines.

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