Report: FDA planning to allow ‘mix-and-match’ boosters

Coronavirus

(WPRI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reportedly planning to allow Americans to opt to get a different booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine than the one they initially received.

The upcoming announcement, reported by The New York Times on Monday, could come at the same time the agency is also expected to authorize boosters for both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s shots.

The new data on a “mix and match” approach was based on small groups of volunteers and short-term findings, and only focused on one measure of immune response: antibody levels.

For example, recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot who then got a Moderna booster saw antibody levels rise 76-fold in 15 days. That’s compared with only a four-fold increase after an extra dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The study noted cellular immune responses, another important measure of a vaccine’s success, were still being analyzed.

Researchers also warned against using the findings to conclude that any one combination of vaccines was better.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices would issue its own recommendations, following a greenlight from the FDA.

A draft agenda notes the committee is meeting on Thursday to discuss “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccines.”

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