A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention committee has endorsed COVID-19 booster shots, and opened the door to mixing a different company’s brand for the extra shot.
A final ruling from the CDC director is expected soon, but one medical expert says a third shot could provide a bigger immune boost.
“This is going to make the whole process easier, simpler and hopefully, make it easier for people to get the dose they need,” St. Joseph’s Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Phillip Falcone said.
He said being able to "mix and match" vaccine boosters will be helpful in protecting as many as possible, and recent studies have shown either Moderna or Pfizer produce similar immune responses with a booster shot.
“The original vaccine that you received, those two doses, primed your body to be able to fight off a coronavirus infection. You developed antibodies against that virus. So what this is doing is boosting that level of immunity by adding more antibodies to your body so that you can fight it more effectively,” Falcone said.
He said it was the same concept as getting a booster shot following your flu vaccine. And he added the research shows the MRNA booster shots work with those who got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Johnson & Johnson vaccine was effective, but not as effective as the mRNA, so the decision is, you are able to receive the booster of either the Johnson & Johnson of the mRNA vaccines, and that will elevate the amount of protection you get,” Falcone said.
Falcone says everyone should consider a booster, especially those 65 years and older, those with underlying medical conditions and health care workers.