FDA considering allowing mixing different COVID vaccines


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Mixing Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses could become a reality soon. The FDA is looking at some advantages, like gaining different types of protection.

“The varied nature of the vaccine itself may lead to what we call a more varied immune response which could also be good as well,” says Dr. Ulysses Wu, Chief Epidemiologist, and System Director, Infectious Diseases with Hartford Healthcare.

But right now the FDA is not discussing mixing boosters as a preference for everyone.

“They would still like you to get the same vaccine that you got before and so if you are eligible for that booster which currently is Pfizer for a lot of people you should go out and get that booster if possible,” says Dr. Wu.

“This potential recommendation is a big deal because there are many patients that have been left in the dark, typically those who received J&J, are potentially interested in boosting with another vaccine so this allows for greater flexibility,” says Dr. John Brownstein of Harvard Medical School.

The news follows a study that showed that people vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson saw their COVID antibodies jump 76 fold after receiving a Moderna booster, as opposed to those who had a regular J&J booster whose antibodies rose by a factor of just four.

There are other advantages as well.

“I think mixing and matching would reduce supply chain complexity quite a bit and so the end result would be more boosters and more arms and that matters a lot,” says Dr. Ryan Ribeira, ABC News Medical Contributor.

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