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Will J&J’s Covid Booster Get FDA’s Blessing? Here’s Why It Looks Likely

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday a second dose of Johnson & Johnson‘s (JNJ) Covid vaccine could be effective two months after the first — and JNJ stock inched higher.




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The FDA posted the briefing document ahead of an advisory committee meeting Thursday and Friday to discuss booster shots of the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna (MRNA) vaccines. Staffers noted “summaries of the data suggest there may be a benefit in a second dose administered approximately two months after the primary dose.”

Staffers also acknowledged the J&J vaccine, which is delivered using a modified adenovirus, has consistently underperformed the messenger RNA vaccines. In the U.S., J&J’s shot was 72% protective. The Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna shots were more than 90% effective. All three are still very good at protecting against severe disease.

On the stock market today, JNJ stock rose 1% to 159.20.

JNJ Stock: Key Meeting Scheduled

The document is meant to brief the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which is on deck later this week. The advisory committee will make nonbinding recommendations on whether to authorize booster doses of the Moderna and J&J shots. JNJ stock has trended down this year. A nod for its booster shot could help reinvigorate shares.

If successful at the FDA, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will also have to make their cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has its own advisory committee.

Pfizer and BioNTech (BNTX) won authorization for their booster dose last month. The FDA and CDC blessed the booster at six months following the second dose for older Americans and people at risk due to preexisting conditions or work.

But the FDA declined to take a stance Tuesday on Moderna’s vaccine, saying data are mixed as to whether the two-dose regimen is capable of tackling the delta variant. The FDA also said the currently authorized or approved vaccines remain effective against severe disease.

Shares Form Flat Base

Johnson & Johnson has pledged to make its Covid vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis across the globe. So, JNJ stock doesn’t often move on vaccine news.

But shares have traded down since mid-August. JNJ stock is forming a flat base with a buy point at 180.02, according to MarketSmith.com. Shares are now on the low side of that base.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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