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Pfizer and Moderna vaccine boosters are coming, but what about Johnson & Johnson?

EXCLUSIVE: Studies thus far have shown among the three vaccine options, Pfizer and Moderna fare better against the delta variant. 

Booster shots are on the way in the United States for adults who have taken their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. 

President Joe Biden said from the East Room of the White House we are still “in the pandemic of the unvaccinated.” The president pleaded: “If you haven’t gotten vaccinated please do it now.”

President Joe Biden speaks about Afghanistan from the East Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The new United States government mandates require 8 months to have passed since the second Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations were administered. This mandate indicates an absence of concrete guidelines when it comes to the ever-changing and rapidly destructive COVID-19 and attempts to prevent disability and death from the virus. 

Studies thus far have shown among the three vaccine options, Pfizer and Moderna fare better against the delta variant. 

A booster for the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, is still being studied. Research is expected to be released on Thursday as to potential next steps for those who were administered the J&J vaccination. 

The prevailing question is whether an individual who received J&J can mix and match vaccines. Among the concerns is the varying makeup of the Johnson & Johnson vaccination which is a live virus, in comparison to Pfizer and Moderna that use preserved ingredients. Additionally, Pfizer is made with a newer mRNA medical technology versus Johnson & johnson.

Scientists contend other countries have looked at the combination and found it to be effective. FDA approval for this combination is a long way off. 

“We do believe that people who have gotten the J&J vaccine will likely also need a booster dose, and we just don’t know when yet,” said Dr. Bechara Choucair, White House Vaccinations Coordinator said. “We started administering the J&J vaccine in March of 2021. That’s three and a half months after we started administering the mRNA vaccine.” 

A COVID vaccine is administered on August 04, 2021 in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Dr. Choucair cautions that more scientific data compiled from various parts of the medical community, including clinical trials, is needed before an official recommendation for boosters to those with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be issued. 

Medical professionals are studying to what extent waning occurs or antibodies diminish within the eight-month period after Pfizer and Moderna inoculations.  

A study from the National Urban League focused on 15,000 minorities and their vaccine hesitancy. The findings showed that Black Americans are far more skeptical than whites about a COVID-19 vaccine, However, overall only 26% of Blacks Americans are far more skeptical than whites about a COVID-19 vaccine.

Of the Black people polled, the study found that Black America’s vaccine hesitancy was not as high as originally thought. Sixty five to 70% of African Americans said they would get the shot. Of the 30% who said they were not inclined to get vaccinated, half of them wanted more information. 

“My job is not to play on fears but to give it to everybody straight,” Marc Moral, the head of The National Urban League told theGrio exclusively. He thinks that if the FDA and the CDC recommend a vaccine booster shot, “the people who have already been vaccinated will be very inclined to get a booster shot. While those who were hesitant will remain hesitant and those who are reluctant will remain reluctant.”

According to the Center for Disease Control Data Tracker, as of Aug. 17, nine million Blacks of all ages have been vaccinated compared to 63 million whites. The tracker also shows women of all races are edging out the numbers of men being vaccinated.

Morial added, “I think that if the FDA and the CDC recommend a booster, the people who have already been vaccinated will be very inclined to get a booster shot. Those who were hesitant.”

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