Study finds that Johnson & Johnson user may have more protection with a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot

Getting a different booster after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 9:31 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 13, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - New data shows that if you got the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, you may be better off with a different shot for a booster.

Local experts said the FDA and researchers have been looking at combinations of the three vaccines to see which combinations provide the most protection with booster shots. A new study from the National Institutes of Health shows that people who got a J&J shot and a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels rise 76 fold within 15 days. For Pfizer, the data shows that J&J users saw antibodies rise 35 fold in the same time frame. The study shows a J&J booster only gave about four times more antibodies.

Local infectious disease expert Dr. Wesley Willeford said with the makeup of these vaccines, it’s possible that getting two types would provide better protection, but for now the guidelines on mixing and matching haven’t changed.

“For the two-dose vaccine, try and stick with the same one that you had,” Willeford said. “For the one dose vaccine, you should be covered for a period of time. This may change as we get more information from the FDA as they make further recommendations, but the mixing and matching is unchanged at the moment.”

Willeford said the FDA will talk about mixing and matching the shots this week, but they also are planning to talk about changing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to a two-dose series.

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