Coronavirus booster shots, mixing and matching brands explained

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report people who are fully vaccinated now against COVID-19 may not be considered so in the future without a booster.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are fully vaccinated now against COVID-19 might not be considered so in the future without a booster shot.

Being fully vaccinated means a person has received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Now, the CDC is recommending certain people get a COVID-19 booster vaccine. 

“I decided to get the booster shot because I’m golden age,” Elizabeth Gans said.

Elizabeth Gans got her third dose of the Pfizer vaccine and says she had mild side effects for about half a day. 

“I knew from reading medical facts and statistics and digging for them the rate of survival and how much it affects you is much less having both shots and the booster,” Gans said. 

Gans said she wanted to protect herself after her mother-in-law ended up in the hospital on a ventilator twice with COVID-19.

“She felt terrible and had no energy for about a year,” Gans said. “People should get a COVID shot not just for themselves but to protect those around them.”

“What we’re seeing is that protection is waning over time, more so in those in the elderly population and those people who have underlying medical conditions that could have a worse outcome when they contract COVID,” said Dr. Mohammed Reza, a Jacksonville-area infectious disease specialist. 

The CDC recommends people who have gotten the two-dose Moderna series to get a booster shot six months after the second dose if they’re 65 or older, 65 or younger with underlying health conditions, or if they work in a work in a place with high exposure to COVID-19.

The same is the case with those who have received two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, but it’s a different story for people who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Those who have received that Johnson & Johnson vaccine, this booster is for everybody who has gotten one shot 18 and older, so this is almost like a two-shot series is what it seems like more than anything else,” Reza said.

The CDC also said people can mix and match vaccine brands for their booster.

A new study from the National Institutes of Health shows the most effective combination was people who got the Moderna vaccines to get a Moderna booster, followed by those who got the Pfizer vaccines to get a Moderna booster.

Those who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had the most protection when they got a booster other than the J&J shot. 

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