Mixing & matching of booster shots said to be “safe and effective”

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The National Institutes of Health released a study that says mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots is safe and effective.

According to the report, all of the boosters created an increase in antibody levels. Patients who originally received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine saw stronger immune system responses when they received boosters from Moderna or Pfizer.

Moderna and Pfizer patients saw similar levels of effectiveness from either company’s booster shots.

“It would certainly make it much easier for people to get a booster,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha.

This research still needs more research from scientists, but Dr. Dillaha said the evidence so far is hopeful.

“It makes sense to me because each one of these vaccines stimulates the immune system against the spiked proteins, so whether one stimulates the spiked protein or the other, the immune response is going to be real similar,” she said.

Meanwhile, the FDA advisory panel endorsed lower doses of Moderna booster shots and Johnson and Johnson boosters.

“If they had not gotten the Moderna booster approved by- I was giving myself a deadline of about mid-November- I was going to go ahead and make arrangements to get the other one,” said Lisa Neihouse.

Neihouse is a teacher in the Alma School District. She said despite studies suggesting mixing the shots is safe, she is going to wat to get the Moderna shot now that it has been approved by the FDA panel.

“I did not want to go into the winter months at risk of being cooped up with people in Arkansas not wearing a mask- which I’m okay with- but, not wearing a mask and having to be inside, I did not want to run that chance of then getting sick,” she said.

This is not the final step for the Moderna or J & J booster shot. A CDC panel still has to meet to go over the specifics on who exactly can get the shots. Those decisions are subject to the CDC’s approval. The panel is expected to meet next week.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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