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Moderna, Johnson & Johnson Booster Shots Could Come This Weekend If They Get Federal Approval

Officials are considering if they'll allow people to "mix and match" their vaccines and if they'll extend booster eligibility to younger people.

Katlin Stupegia of MobileVax holds a vial of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine at a special COVID-19 vaccination event with live performances for arts & culture workers held at Theater Wit in Lakeview on May 21, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster shots moved a step closer to reality, as they got an OK from the Food and Drug Administration.

The booster shots still need to be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but the doses could be available as soon as this weekend, according to the New York Times.

Pfizer booster shots have already been approved for people 65 and older, frontline workers and people with underlying health conditions if it’s been six months since they had their second shot. The same eligibility conditions are likely to apply to Moderna shots when and if they are approved.

Booster shots of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine are expected to be available to everyone who got an initial dose of that vaccine starting two months after getting the shot.

Officials are considering if they’ll allow people to “mix and match” their vaccines, allowing someone who initially got a Johnson & Johnson shot to now get a Moderna or Pfizer booster, for example.

And health experts are determining if they’ll approve booster shots for younger people. They’ve been approved for older people since they are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and more likely to experience breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death, but younger people who are fully vaccinated remain largely protected against the virus.

The booster campaign has proven controversial: Some experts have said boosters should be saved for people most at risk — like people whose immune systems are severely compromised — while the bulk of doses go to countries where far fewer people are vaccinated.

The World Health Organization has said booster programs in wealthier countries could keep doses out of the hands of lower-income countries, which are struggling to get doses to vaccinate people. That could, in turn, fuel the emerge of more dangerous variants of COVID-19, experts have said.


• In Illinois, about 7.1 million people — or 56.43 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 28,913 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 15,166,996 vaccine doses of the 18,193,255 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.58 million Chicagoans — or 59 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 64.2 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Thirty-six Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Wednesday.

• At least 25,563 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,819 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,146 cases since Wednesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,677,939.

• Since Wednesday, 135,773 tests were reported statewide. In all, 34,343,988 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.9 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.9 percent Wednesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 2.2 percent. It was at 2.3 percent Wednesday.

• As of Wednesday night, 330 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 155 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, one death was reported since Wednesday. There have been at least 5,862 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three deaths per day, down 12 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has 335 had confirmed cases reported since Wednesday. It’s had a total of 324,468 confirmed cases. An average of 281 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 14 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is down 8 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.9 percent, unchanged from the week prior.

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