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Healthcare workers prepare as FDA is poised to approve boosters for J&J and Moderna

Final approval could come by the end of the month.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Vaccine providers across Pennsylvania are awaiting official approval from the FDA on booster shots for the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines. 

"The operation is in place, it's really about getting the final details on how we should implement the strategy," said Dr. Graham Snyder of UPMC.

A FDA advisory panel recommended approval for booster shots for both J&J and Moderna. The FDA must still give official approval in a vote that could come by the end of the month.

A booster was previously approved for Pfizer in September. 

Who is approved to get the Pfizer booster? Read here.

Watch the discussion over J&J and Moderna boosters and mix and match vaccines here.

The FDA will also discuss if different COVID-19 vaccinations can be mixed.

"It's not that you need a booster because all of a sudden you're unprotected again," said Dr. Donald Yealy of UPMC. "The people who are unprotected are those that haven't chosen the vaccine yet and a very small proportion of the population who simply never responded to the first dose."

UPMC doctors stressed all three vaccinations provide protection against COVID-19. They also encouraged people who are unvaccinated to take the shot. 

"Almost without fail the side effects of getting the infection COVID-19 are incredibly worse. They're more frequent, severe, and harder to shake than anything you can imagine or observe from the vaccines. You are making one of the safest bets possible with your life by choosing to get vaccinated," said Dr. Yealy. 

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