FDA approves of mixing and matching COVID-19 booster shots

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– About half of Louisiana’s population is fully vaccinated, but some people have questions about when to get their booster shot — and which one to get.

The FDA has added Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine boosters to the approved list and now says mixing and matching any of the shots is allowed.

“News that we got from the FDA, that is it would be okay if you received, let’s say, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine first and then now you receive a booster or another dose from an mRNA vaccine,” said Ochsner Baton Rouge Regional Director Dr. Aldo Russo.

He said getting different shots is not only okay, but it can also help your body respond to the virus better.

“The level of protection increases significantly when you mix the two types of vaccines to protect you even more against the virus,” Dr. Russo explained.

The function of the third shot is to help strengthen or maintain immune responses that were initiated by the first vaccine.

“The effectiveness of the vaccine starts to wear off after six to eight months. So we know that giving a booster for patients will help them prevent getting the infection,” he said.

As flu season comes around, he said it is safe to get both the flu shot and the COVID-19 shot at the same time. Dr. Russo said the COVID-19 booster could cause symptoms similar to your first round of shots.

“The symptoms may be just simple, for 24 hours you may develop some headaches or fevers or joint pains. Some people develop nausea, but they go away and it’s nothing compared to getting the actual infection,” said Dr. Russo.

A CDC advisory committee unanimously recommended boosters of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines. Final approval is expected from the CDC as early as Thursday night.

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