Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday issued a statement announcing the immediate authorization of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and “mix-and-match” COVID-19 booster shots.
On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration signed off on extending COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially, the Associated Press reported.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify for a booster, too. And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of “mixing and matching” that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.
Hogan said the move by federal regulators came several days earlier than expected.
“We’re just pleased to be finally moving forward,” Hogan told 11 News on Friday. “Being able to get boosters to those folks who got Moderna and J&J, this is a big step we’ve been waiting for from the federal government. We’ve been ready to do it and we’re anxious to continue to make progress.”
Johns Hopkins experts said Friday the approval also comes as COVID-19 case data continues to show promise.
When asked whether the end of the delta surge has been reached, Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, epidemiology lead for the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, said: “I never want to call anything an end, but I certainly welcome the sustained declines in cases that we’re seeing across the U.S.”
But experts cautioned there’s no guarantee that declines in cases will be sustained because cases could increase again after the holidays.
“When people travel and gather in new social networks, that creates opportunities for the virus to spread in new ways, so we could see a rise in cases later in the winter,” Nuzzo said.