FDA advisers recommend targeting JN.1 variant for COVID-19 vaccines in 2024-25.

Key Points:

  1. Unanimous Vote for JN.1 Lineage: The FDA’s advisory panel unanimously recommended that the COVID-19 vaccines for the 2024-25 season target a strain within the JN.1 lineage, which has been dominant this year.
  2. Focus on JN.1 Variant: Despite not voting on a specific strain, advisors favored the original JN.1 variant over its successors like KP.2, particularly due to vaccine production constraints. Novavax can target JN.1 with its protein-based shot.
  3. FDA’s Final Decision Pending: While the FDA usually follows its advisors’ recommendations, it is not obligated to do so. The final decision will impact vaccine production and distribution plans.
  4. Impact on Vaccine Makers: Shares of vaccine makers, such as Novavax and Moderna, saw significant gains following the recommendation. Pfizer also saw a marginal increase.
  5. Vaccine Efficacy: Data from animal studies indicate that vaccines targeting the JN.1 variant can effectively neutralize newer subvariants like KP.2, suggesting better performance than older vaccines.
  6. Readiness and Supply: Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are prepared to supply updated vaccines immediately upon approval, with Moderna aiming for an August release. Novavax plans to deliver its JN.1 vaccine in the U.S. by September.


  1. Vaccine Strategy: The FDA’s potential endorsement of the JN.1 variant will shape the upcoming vaccination campaign and influence public health strategies to combat COVID-19.
  2. Stock Market Reaction: The positive response from investors reflects confidence in the vaccine makers’ ability to adapt to the evolving virus and maintain public health preparedness.
  3. Public Health Impact: With updated vaccines targeting the prevalent strain, the U.S. can enhance its defense against COVID-19, potentially reducing the impact of future outbreaks.


The FDA’s advisory panel has taken a crucial step in guiding the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccination effort by recommending the JN.1 variant for the 2024-25 vaccines. This decision underscores the importance of adapting vaccine strategies to current viral dynamics and ensures that vaccine makers are aligned in their production goals. The next steps will depend on the FDA’s final ruling, which will set the stage for the upcoming vaccination campaigns and their implementation.