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CDC debating FDA recommendation on mixing COVID-19 vaccines

The FDA has approved mixing COVID-19 vaccines, but the CDC must get on board first, which they...
The FDA has approved mixing COVID-19 vaccines, but the CDC must get on board first, which they are expected to do soon.
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 3:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The US is one step closer to being able to mix COVID vaccines. The FDA has approved the practice, but the CDC must get on board first, which they are expected to do soon.

The FDA approved booster shots for Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines Wednesday. Pfizer had already gotten the approval. A key part of the approval was allowing people who are eligible for a third shot to get a different vaccine shot.

Studies in Europe have shown mixing vaccines could lead to an even stronger resistance to COVID-19. “Depending on the type of vaccines you received. You may want to consider after the consultation of your medical provider, mixing and getting another type. " Dr. David Hicks, JCDH said.

The FDA authorized a third booster for seniors and those at high health risk from COVID. Dr. Hicks said studies have shown those who got Johnson and Johnson were better off getting one of the other vaccines as a booster. “If you got the J&J vaccine I think it’s clear you are going to get more protection if you change to a different vaccine product for your booster. That would be one of those MRNA vaccines, either Pfizer or Moderna,” Hicks said.

The FDA said those who got the J&J vaccine should get the second dose two months after the first dose. This would be for those 18 and older who are eligible. The FDA believes the booster shots are the best way to fight the pandemic as studies show vaccines tend to wane after months of being fully vaccinated. Hicks doesn’t believe you need to mix the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“Now the question ‘if you get Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, should you mix it’, I don’t think that you’re really gaining really anything. They are developed with the same general technology, MRNA. If you are Moderna I think you stick to Moderna, of you a Pfizer I think you stick to Pfizer”. Hicks said.

It’s estimated the final approval would open up more than 15 million people who get the J&J vaccine and more than 69 million people who got the Moderna vaccine.

The CDC advisory committee is meeting Thursday to look at the data. If they approve, then it will be up to the CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky to give final approval. Distribution of those booster shots could begin almost immediately.

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