Can you mix and match COVID vaccine boosters?

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 8:07 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - The issue of vaccine boosters can be confusing and it has left a lot of people wondering if they can mix and match brands of vaccines.

The short answer is, yes you can, based on initial studies that show that people who received one dose of Johnson and Johnson and got a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna had a better immune response.

ProMedica Dr. Jennifer Hanrahan MD is an infectious disease specialist. “We know that if they get a Moderna vaccine or a Pfizer vaccine they get a really good boost in their immune response. The reverse may not be true.”

It makes sense that when you’re going in with less efficacy to begin with, as is the case with one dose of the J & J, that you’d get that kind of immune response.

However, more information needs to be provided about mixing and matching Pfizer and Moderna.

All the vaccines still have the same potential for side effects. Dr. Hanrahan says “We do know that when people get the vaccines, they can expect some fever they can expect to feel a little bit lousy for a day or two.”

Despite that, Dr. Hanrahan says the alternative of getting COVID is still potentially deadly. “It causes severe pneumonia, it causes them to not be able to breathe and it can also cause long term scarring, so some of these people are not going to go back to normal ever.”

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