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Panel unanimously recommends a second dose for adults 18 and older.

It’s been a lingering question for months: Do people who got the Johnson & Johnson (J&J)/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine need a booster shot? Finally, a scientific panel advising the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has provided a bit of clarity.

On October 15, the FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, by a 19-0 vote, agreed that available safety and effectiveness data support emergency use of a COVID-19 booster dose for people 18 and older.

It’s now up to the FDA to either accept or reject the panel’s decision, setting the stage for potential second doses in the arms of some 15 million Americans who, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, received the one-dose J&J vaccine.



Who is eligible for the J&J booster dose?

Specifically, the advisory panel recommended that the FDA grant emergency use of a J&J booster to people 18 years of age and older. Adults who received the single-shot J&J COVID-19 vaccine would be eligible for that extra jab at least two months after their first J&J shot.

It’s a broad recommendation, covering anyone who got the J&J vaccine. You may recall that the FDA granted emergency use of J&J’s single-dose vaccine in February 2021, making it the third COVID-19 vaccine authorized for use in the US and the only one approved as a one-dose regimen.

The advisory panel’s recommendation a day earlier for a Moderna booster is much more nuanced, singling out older adults and certain at-risk individuals for a “boost.” Likewise, a Pfizer booster dose is recommended for specific groups of individuals, not everyone who has had the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Why did the panel vote for a J&J booster?

During a comment period prior to the October 15 vote, several members of the advisory panel indicated that, despite limited data, providing a booster dose two months after the initial dose is not only safe but also warranted.

Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, an infectious disease expert who serves as a member of the panel, told her colleagues she was initially against recommending a J&J booster dose. However, after discussion and review of the available evidence—and considering that 15 million people in US received a single dose of vaccine and their immunity may be waning—she concluded that “this is still a public health imperative.”

Dr. Chatterjee said she agreed with most of her colleagues that a booster “is necessary in these individuals for them to boost up that immunity into the 95% range.”

When can I get my J&J booster?

The advisory panel’s recommendation is the just the first step in a multi-pronged process. Next, the FDA must decide whether to accept the panel’s vote and approve emergency use of a J&J booster. After that, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will review the evidence to weigh the risks and benefits of a booster dose and make real-world decisions about how to administer these additional doses. And finally, the CDC will issue guidance.

If I had J&J, can I get a Moderna or Pfizer booster?

Well, that’s another wrinkle. After the FDA advisory panel’s vote, members heard from Kirsten Lyke, MD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Lyke presented preliminary data from a small “mix-and-match” study, suggesting that people who got the J&J vaccine might benefit from a Moderna or Pfizer booster.

Ultimately, the panel did not take a vote on whether J&J recipients should get a booster dose of one of the mRNA vaccines. That debate continues.



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Foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be able to travel to the United States starting on November 8, the White House said Friday.”The US’ new travel policy that requires vaccination for foreign national travelers to the United States will begin on Nov 8,” said Kevin Munoz, White House assistant press secretary, on Twitter. “This announcement and date applies to both international air travel and land travel. This policy is guided by public health, stringent, and consistent.”Reuters was first to report the November 8 date.

The move would relax a patchwork of bans that had begun to cause fury abroad and replacing them with more uniform requirements for inbound international air passengers. It will come as welcome news to the travel industry, which had been lobbying the federal government to lift some of the rules preventing international tourism, as well as airlines, hotels and hospitality groups.

A White House official told CNN further guidance on “very limited exceptions” to the requirements, along with what Covid-19 vaccines will be accepted and other operational details in advance of the November 8 date.”CDC has already informed airlines that all FDA approved and authorized vaccines, as well as all vaccines that have an Emergency Use Listing (EUL) from the WHO will be accepted for air travel. We anticipate the same will be true at the land border,” the official said.Enter your email to sign up for the CNN Meanwhile in America Newsletter.close dialog

Want to understand American politics?We’ve got you.Sign Me UpNo ThanksBy subscribing you agree to ourprivacy policy.The same rules will also apply to non-essential travel at the American land borders and to visitors who arrive in the US by passenger ferry.

“These travelers are required to be prepared to attest to vaccination status and to present proof of vaccination to a CBP officer upon request,” the official said. “By January, foreign nationals traveling across the land border for both essential and non-essential reasons will be required to be fully vaccinated.

“Airlines have been voicing their support for Biden’s new travel policy. Airlines for America President and CEO Nick Calio said he is pleased with the news and that the safe reopening of borders is essential for the nation’s economic recovery.

“U.S. airlines have been strong advocates for an individual risk-based system to safely ease travel restrictions, and we recognize that the safe reopening of borders is essential for our nation’s economic recovery. The full reopening of international travel is also critical to reviving economies around the globe, reinvigorating communities and supporting millions of jobs in the U.S. and abroad,” Calio said in a statement.He continued: “We have seen an increase in ticket sales for international travel over the past weeks, and are eager to begin safely reuniting the countless families, friends and colleagues who have not seen each other in nearly two years, if not longer.

“US travel bans were first imposed in the earliest days of the pandemic when then-President Donald Trump limited travel from China in January 2020. That step failed to prevent the virus from reaching the United States, but additional countries were added to the list as health officials pressed the White House to limit entry from places where case rates were high.Trump added countries in the Schengen Zone — which encompasses 26 states in Europe, including France, Germany and Italy — along with Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Brazil, South Africa and India were added separately. Land borders with Canada and Mexico were also closed.Biden had maintained the strict bans on nonessential travel, even as vaccination rates in Europe ticked upward, citing the unpredictable nature of the pandemic and the emergence of the Delta variant.But the system proved infuriating to European governments, whose countries’ citizens were still barred entry to the United States even as those nations brought their case counts down amid successful vaccination campaigns. Countries with higher case totals that were not on the list were not subject to the rules.

Over the course of the past months, travel restrictions on people wishing to enter the United States had devolved into a major transatlantic rift. European leaders, frustrated at the apparent lack of progress, began taking their gripes public. They said the rules were damaging relations between Europe and the United States.Earlier this week, the White House announced it was planning to ease restrictions on travel for fully vaccinated visitors from Canada and Mexico starting in early November.

The US has been limiting nonessential travel on the ground along its borders with Canada and Mexico since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and extending those restrictions on a monthly basis.The new rules, the White House said, would be rolled out in a phased approach. The first phase will kick off in early November and will allow fully vaccinated visitors traveling for nonessential reasons, like visiting friends or for tourism, to cross US land borders.

The second phase will start in early January 2022 and will apply the vaccination requirement to all inbound foreign travelers.


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Returning to “normal” after a global pandemic is a process. These expert tips will help you over the hurdles.

I’ve always enjoyed countdowns, whether they’re to Christmas, New Year’s, or my birthday (which, as a Leo, I also consider a national holiday). Countdowns signify that something big is coming—a new adventure or a fresh start. But this past year they were daunting and undependable, thanks to the environment of uncertainty and fear created by COVID-19. The impending return-to-normal countdown has felt equally unsure. As the situation has evolved, I’ve swayed between feeling joyful about reentry and unsettled. 

If you can relate, know that in late February nearly 50 percent of Americans reported feeling anxious about resuming in-person interactions, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). And that anxiety doesn’t just—poof!—go away once the world reopens. This guide will provide you with the tools and techniques you need to work through lingering challenges—personally, professionally, and financially. 

Acknowledge Your Fears

Reentry anxiety can be triggered by fear of germs or of social interaction. While it might feel more comfortable to avoid resuming regular activity, resist the urge. “Our data shows that one of the biggest contributors to the development of anxiety disorder is avoidance,” says Kalina J. Michalska, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside. 

If you’re worried about a germy commute on public transportation, try shifting your travel time to avoid peak hours. If it’s social interaction that’s causing you to sweat, acknowledge it out loud to the friends you wish to see. “People like to take care of others, they like to feel useful,” Michalska says. Opening up about your anxiety will take the pressure off a bit. “Then you don’t have to perform,” she says. 

But keep in mind there’s a difference between reentry anxiety and more severe fear-based conditions. Ask yourself this: “Is anxiety preventing me from doing the things I’d like to be doing?” If the answer is yes, then you could be experiencing agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder that involves fear and avoidance of certain places or situations. In this case, you may want to seek help from a therapist. 

Rebuild Your Network

Research shows that social isolation can change the brain over time, resulting in a decline in cognitive function, according to Michalska. Our professional and personal networks shrank by close to 16 percent—or by more than 200 people each—during the pandemic, according to a recent study by Yale researchers. In other words, it’s important to reconnect.

“But it’s also an opportunity for us to shift our priorities,” Michalska says. Maybe during the pandemic you realized that some people were more supportive than others. It’sOK to prioritize the relationships that felt most fruitful to you. 

This is also a chance to reassess your network, especially in light of the past year’s political turmoil regarding the attacks on the Asian community and the Black Lives Matter movement, Michalska says. Just think, “How homogeneous is my friend group?” Then use this period of rebuilding to solidify bonds with people whose perspectives you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. “Life doesn’t present us with turning points very often. And this, I think, is one of them,” Michalska says.

Stabilize Your Finances

Between job loss, loan deferments, expensive vacations rescheduled, and childcare on pause, your pandemic finances may have been all over the place—saving some months, in a deficit during others. Use this new period to map out a more stable financial plan. Set a budget and financial boundaries around how you want to connect with people, says Kimberly Hamilton, certified financial education instructor and founder of Beworth Finance. “You don’t need to say yes to everything that involves spending money.” 

For assistance in staying on top of your finances, consider using apps such as Truebill, a subscription management and bill negotiating platform, and Mint, an easy-to-use budget tracker and planner, Hamilton says. 

Find Healthy Ways to Support Your Body

If it’s taking you a little longer to get back into your fitness routine (or maybe you’re reassessing it altogether), don’t sweat it. “A lot of us experienced a huge disruption to our daily lives during this pandemic,” says Lindsay Kite, PhD, coauthor of More Than a Body. This disruption included changes to our routine, what we ate, and how much we moved. 

What’s important is to keep up the healthy habits you developed during the pandemic. If you don’t have time for the hour-long leisurely walk anymore, consider walking to a farther train or bus stop in the morning, says Stephanie Mansour, CPT. Or if you loved riding your bike in the evenings, begin commuting to work once a week by bike. 

And if you are going back to fitness classes but still feel self-conscious about your body, opt for a machine or position in the room that isn’t right in front of the mirrors, as they can encourage a state of self-objectification, Kite says. 

It can also be useful to repeat a mantra before workouts, such as “My body is an instrument, not an ornament.” A phrase like this shifts your mindset from wanting to lose X number of pounds or get into a specific dress size (an ornamental perspective) to wanting to run five miles or walk up the subway stairs without becoming super winded (an instrumental perspective). The key is focusing on how you feel and what you want to do with your body rather than how the world experiences it, says Kite. 


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