MILWAUKEE — The Pfizer vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine to be authorized as a booster shot. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are both now one step closer to gaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
So far, 267,017 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Wisconsin, which is the smallest amount of the three vaccines given in the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Moderna filed their data to the FDA on Sept. 1 seeking evaluation, while Johnson & Johnson submitted their request Tuesday.
According to Dr. Hashim Zaibak, CEO of Hayat Pharmacies, this is just the first step, while the next would be getting approval from the Centers for Disease Control.
"We have had a lot of people who have come and asked us about the booster shot, but we've been telling them the FDA hasn't authorized it and the CDC has not yet recommended it yet," said Dr. Zaibak.
He says Johnson & Johnson has submitted data with two different time periods for them to decide as to how soon a patient can expect to receive their booster.
"They showed the immunity at two months after the first dose and six months after the first dose," said Zaibak.
Patients who are immunocompromised and have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine have been approved to receive a third dose of the Pfizer shot.
"So if they're immunocompromised, they get the third dose 28 days after the second dose," Zaibak explained.
For Johnson & Johnson recipients, even if they are immunocompromised, they should wait for their shot to be approved.
Dr. Weston, Milwaukee's Chief Health Policy Advisor, believes boosters for all eligible people across all vaccine types could be on the horizon.
"I'm hopeful that by mid to late October, we could be seeing boosters for both of those vaccines," said Dr. Weston.
The FDA is scheduled to meet Oct. 14-15 to discuss both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna booster shots.