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Moderna Gains on FDA Booster Approval; JNJ Booster on Tap

Moderna shares gain after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel gives the nod to a third half-dose COVID-19 booster shot.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report stock gained on Friday, rising more than 3% in premarket trading, after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel gave its approval to a third half-dose booster shot to some Americans to bolster protection against COVID-19.

A panel of advisers to the FDA on Thursday voted unanimously to recommend a booster shot for seniors, adults with other health problems, jobs or living situations that put them at increased risk for COVID.

The 19-0 recommendation is non-binding but an important step toward expanding the U.S. booster campaign to millions more Americans. Many people who got their initial Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report shots at least six months ago are already getting a booster after the FDA authorized their use last month.

The FDA is expected to decide on whether to authorize the booster dose within days. The final nod will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is expected to issue a final recommendation as soon as next week.

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Moderna said the booster doses can be drawn from the same vials that contain the original two-dose vaccine series, meaning the boosters will be available soon after official CDC authorization.

The approval comes as FDA officials also articulated a favorable outlook on a Johnson & Johnson's  (JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report COVID-19 booster shot, noting earlier this week that there may be a benefit to administering a second dose two months after the initial jab.

The CDC last month endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shots for emergency use in individuals aged 65-plus and vulnerable populations.

At last check, shares of Moderna were up 3.02% at $341.89 in premarket trading. Shares of Pfizer were up 0.5% at $41.88 while shares of Johnson & Johnson were up 0.49% at $160.89.

Read: Moderna Developing Combined Vaccine to Target Covid and Flu