Johnson & Johnson announced Tuesday that it submitted data to the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine.
J&J said it filed an application with the FDA on Tuesday that asks the agency to authorize a booster shot for people who received the original one-shot vaccine. According to the Associated Press, the company did not formally recommend to regulators how much time there should be between each shot.
In September, the company released trial data that discovered a second shot given 56 days after the first dose provides 94% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100% protection against severe illness. Additional data released by the company showed a booster shot given six months after the first dose produced a “rapid and robust increase” in antibodies.
The FDA will convene its advisory board next week to review booster data for both the J&J vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. This signifies the first step in a review process that requires authorization from the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If authorized, about 15 million Americans who received the first shot of the J&J vaccine could qualify for a booster shot. Millions more would be qualified to receive the Moderna booster.
The rollout of booster shots comes as many communities across the nation remain focused on convincing a hesitant portion of the population to get their first shots of the vaccine. That effort continues in Santa Barbara County, where 69% of the eligible 12 and older population was fully vaccinated as of Monday. Of the entire county population, 58.4% of people were fully vaccinated as of Monday.
Across the county, officials reported 65 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and one additional death of a Santa Maria resident. The individual who died was between the ages of 50 to 69 years and had no underlying medical conditions.
The county reported 21 new cases of COVID-19 in Santa Maria on Tuesday, 10 new cases in Santa Barbara, eight new cases in Lompoc and six new cases in Orcutt. Elsewhere, four cases were reported in the unincorporated Goleta Valley and Gaviota, three were reported in Isla Vista, two were reported in Goleta, two in the north county unincorporated areas including the city of Guadalupe and one was reported in the South Coast unincorporated area including the city of Carpintiera. Seven cases were pending a location assignment.
Tuesday’s new cases brought the county’s active case rate to 373 infections.
On Tuesday, 42 people were hospitalized for COVID-19, and 17 of those patients were recovering in the ICU.