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FDA expected to approve ‘mixing and matching’ of COVID-19 booster shots

Posted at 11:21 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 02:59:15-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Food and Drug Administration is expected to ‘okay’ a mix and match approach to COVID-19 booster shots this week.

Dr. Brian Labus, an infectious disease epidemiologist with UNLV, says there’s no harm in getting a different shot than the one you originally received.

“There is no reason to think that there are any problems that are going to be caused by mixing and matching vaccines. This is kind of where we expected to be all along. Every other vaccine we have, we don’t worry about which brand of vaccine it is,” Labus said.

A study done by the National Institutes of Health looked at all three vaccines and found that no matter the brand, all study participants saw a "substantial" uptick in antibody levels after a booster shot. The study also showed that mixing boosters could provide a stronger response to the Delta variant.

“I would expect that they’re going to approve this and they’re going to provide the protection by allowing people to get whatever vaccine is convenient for them,” Labus said.

If the FDA approves the mixing and matching of vaccine booster shots, Labus said it could make access to the booster easier for people.

“I'm gonna go get my booster next week. I don't wanna be sick and I’m not ready to die so that was reason enough for me to do it,” Carlene Freeman said. Freeman got vaccinated against COVID-19 about seven months ago.

“Who wants to die? They came up with a vaccine for a reason. I’ll be getting my booster soon and I don’t mind combining them,” Al Boncimino told 13 Action News.

Others told 13 Action News they were open to another shot, but not to mixing and matching.

“I don't want to mix them because I know that Pfizer was effective for me and I want to keep it that way,” Cristino Martines said.

Regardless of what you choose, Labus said a booster is key in the fight against COVID-19.

“If you don’t have the booster shot, it’s not that you will be unprotected, you just won’t have the strongest protection possible. So, additional people could get infected, which we want to avoid. The goal is to get the community vaccinated,” Labus said.

The FDA is expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots within the next 24 hours.