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FDA to vote on J&J Covid-19 booster recommendation

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Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani talks about the upcoming FDA vote on recommendations for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Shares of Moderna popping in the session today, just slightly. The drugmaker getting the big thumbs up from an FDA advisory panel yesterday for emergency use authorization of its booster shots. Today the focus shifts to Johnson & Johnson and its booster jabs. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani, who's following that development for us. Anjalee, what can we expect today?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Well, Akiko, it seems like largely speaking overall the government is going to be greenlighting these boosters. But questions about the data underlying it, and whether or not there is sufficient data to support the need for broad use of boosters, is still a question. Still, we do expect that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will get this green light, but questions posed to the FDA panel will decide after how long.

Right now Johnson & Johnson has data both after two months, as well as after six months, of the primary course, and that is the decision that the advisory committee is faced with today. And so those are the questions that they're going to be dealing with.

Of course, we saw yesterday Moderna's vaccine get approved-- or rather recommended for approval for that booster. In the same vein as we saw Pfizer's, which is for those 65 and older, those 18 to 64 that are either at risk of contracting severe COVID-19 or exposed to it through work or through an institution. And so we do not see that in the question for Johnson & Johnson today. It is a broader group, so we are likely to see multiple votes by the end of today.

Meanwhile, we know that for Moderna's as well, the next steps of course will follow through to the FDA making a decision, then the CDC advisory panel, as well as the CDC then making a decision. So that's the process that's up next.

- And Anjalee, there's also news around, what I think a lot of people have been waiting for in terms of finally getting the chance to travel back here to the US if they are vaccinated. What does that looking like, the timeline there?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Right, well the White House is set to announce the date, which is November 8. And that is based on multiple reports shows that it will be actually a phased in process. So, key requirement here is that it sort of flatly opens the borders to inbound travelers from air as well as land. We know that's key for the border crossings between Canada and Mexico. And key in that is that they're going to need to show proof of vaccination or proof of purchasing a test by the time they enter the US, or having already provided a negative test result for COVID-19.

In addition, we know that the vaccines that are being approved-- the CDC has already told the airlines that they are going to be allowed to take any vaccine that has been authorized or approved in the US, which of course, we know includes Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, as well as those that have been approved for emergency use listing by the World Health Organization. And those do include AstraZeneca, the Serum Institute of India's COVISHIELD, and two of the Chinese vaccines.

So that really opens the door for a lot more approvals. It's unclear what will happen to those who have the vaccines of other companies. It's likely they'll fall into that category of needing to provide testing, but more details yet to come. Back to you.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, welcome news for a lot of airlines who've been looking to get to international travelers back headed this way. Thanks so much for that, Anjalee.