New Jersey hospital mandates boosters for J&J vaccinated employees

University Hospital in Newark, N.J., implemented a COVID-19 vaccine booster mandate for employees who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

The hospital announced the mandate Oct. 27 following the Oct. 21 CDC approval of booster doses for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients. The FDA on Oct. 20 also amended the emergency use authorizations for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots, allowing for the administration of a booster dose.

Under University Hospital's mandate, employees who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as their primary vaccination must receive their booster shot by Dec. 24, according to a hospital news release.

Employees may choose any one of the three approved vaccines for their boosters.

"Data and analysis indicate that a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may no longer confer a level of effectiveness that prevents COVID-19 infection in enough of our employees if they are exposed, which has implications on our ability to keep vulnerable patients and families safe," Shereef Elnahal, MD, president and CEO of University Hospital, said in the hospital's news release.

University Hospital said its leadership will continue to watch data to determine if additional mandates will be required for employees who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

People ages 65 and older, adults at high risk of severe COVID-19 infection and adults whose jobs put them at a higher risk of COVID-19 infection are the groups eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna booster, if it's been at least six months since their first two shots.

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