The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) green light on “mixing and matching” vaccine boosters has given renewed hope to reach an acceptable herd immunity threshold, but many Americans have been left with questions regarding when they can receive a booster, and which one might be best for them.
On Thursday night, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky officially signed off on approval for mix-and-match booster shots to combat COVID-19 once the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots were approved for certain individuals. Dr. Walensky’s decision now allows for roughly 100 million eligible Americans to get a booster, including those previously approved to get the Pfizer booster.
However, during a Friday briefing, Dr. Walensky also noted that the agency would not provide a recommendation over which vaccine brand Americans should receive for their booster — be it the same as their first series, or different. More guidance over this particular question has been sought by a CDC panel from the agency. But both U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and President Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested it would be best for Americans to stick with the same vaccine brand they previously received for their booster.
A very brief guide to mixing boosters, in descending order of antibodies:
3 shots of Moderna = Best
Pfizer → Moderna = Next best
Moderna → Pfizer = Also very good!
J&J → Moderna = Do it
J&J → Pfizer = Yes
J&J → J&J = Get Moderna or Pfizer insteadhttps://t.co/MdUyOGg3NX
— Adrienne LaFrance (@AdrienneLaF) October 21, 2021
“It’s generally recommended that you get the booster, that is the original regimen that you got in the first place. But for one reason or other — and there may be different circumstances for people — availability or just different personal choices — you can, as we say, mix and match,” Dr. Fauci said on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday.
Dr. Fauci reviews the science behind the FDA’s new guidelines allowing for ‘mix-and-match’ COVID-19 booster shots
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) October 23, 2021
Dr. Peter Hotez joined Ali Velshi on Saturday to answer all our questions about boosters, vaccine mix-and-match, and variants that may be waiting in the wings. “I’m holding my breath — I’m still concerned about another big wave this winter,” warns Dr. Hotez. “We’re seeing a lot of complacency.” Watch their discussion, below.