The panel meeting was scheduled to last for about seven hours. It will vote whether to approve the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters at the end of the meeting. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 21 (UPI) -- An advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is scheduled to vote Thursday whether to authorize booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, which would be a final step in the process.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is also expected to address "mixing and matching" vaccine doses, which a federal study has shown is safe and provides good protection against the virus.
The panel meeting was scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT and last for about seven hours. The committee will vote whether to approve the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters at the end of the meeting.
A live stream of the meeting is available on the CDC website.
The vote is one of the final steps in the emergency authorization process for the boosters.
An advisory FDA panel voted last week to approve the extra doses -- for older and more vulnerable Americans with the Moderna shot, and for everyone who received Johnson & Johnson's vaccine -- and the full FDA signed off on them Wednesday.
If the CDC committee votes to authorize the boosters, it would then be put to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky for approval. If she signs off on them, the boosters could start going out this weekend.
According to the committee agenda, members of the panel will also examine the study led by the National Institutes of Health that says mixing vaccine brands is safe and produces increased antibodies to fight the virus.
The FDA gave approval for "mixing and match" booster shots on Wednesday.
"Science has shown that vaccination continues to be the safest and most effective way to prevent COVID-19, including the most serious consequences of the disease, such as hospitalization and death," Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said Wednesday.
"The available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of these authorized boosters is important for continued protection against COVID-19 disease."