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Looking at the effectiveness of mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccine boosters

Posted at 11:12 PM, Dec 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-11 02:12:44-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Doctors say our mRNA vaccines can recognize multiple strains and that they can potentially work against a number of variants—even ones that have not even evolved yet.

“There are some slight differences between them, but overall, they all work to boost your antibody levels and no matter what combination you take,” said Dr. Brian Labus, infectious disease epidemiologist and professor at UNLV.

Recent studies suggest that receiving a different vaccine as your booster can boost immune responses.

“Getting boosted with something is better than not getting boosted,” said Dr. Labus. “It doesn’t matter which one you get—they all provide a boosted antibody response.”

Southern Nevada Health District says boosters are recommended for people who completed their full series of Pfizer or Modern shots at least six months ago. Johnson and Johnson two months ago.

Though one medical professional believes that boosters should be reserved for those with health conditions.

“I treated hundreds and hundreds of patients during this outbreak,” said Bob Allder, a respiratory practitioner, RRT. “I don’t think I had one patient that was under 40 years of age and we had very good outcomes.”

SNHD data shows that there are no reported cases of the omicron variant in Clark County. And among the unvaccinated the number of deaths is 51.3 for every 10,000 people.

“It may be something where we have to get a booster every single year, it may be something in between where it’s like a tetanus shot and you get one every ten years,” said Dr. Labus. “We don’t know until we look at the immune system and see how those antibodies change over time and then we can make a recommendation as to what’s next.”

The Health District reports that about 54 percent of the population here is fully vaccinated. And 66 percent has had at least started the process.