COVID Update : Boosters and Mix & Match
How long are the COVID shots good for? That was the question many have been asking as the FDA and CDC finally recommended booster shots. Booster shots are important. They help keep antibodies high enough to avoid disease and they make a person less likely to get severely ill, if infected. On October 21, 2021 the CDC recommended booster shots for the Moderna and J&J Covid vaccines. They had recommended boosters for the Pfizer vaccine about a month ago, based on the data from Israel proving that around 6 months after the second dose of the Covid vaccine, there is decreasing efficacy of the vaccine. With the increasing transmissibility of the Delta variant, there have been many vaccinated people getting COVID “breakthrough” infections, after 6 months from their second COVID vaccine. So which exact COVID booster is recommended? Now people do not have to wait. The CDC also approved a “mix and match” approach to anyone eligible of getting a new dose of any approved Covid vaccine, even if it was not the same as the first dose. For example, if someone is fully vaxxed Pfizer or Moderna and meets the booster guidelines, they now have the flexibility to choose either of them if they are officially eligible for the booster. Pfizer and J&J kept their boosters the same dose as their original vaccines but Moderna’s booster is 50 micrograms per shot, which is half the dose as their original 100 microgram vaccine. Moderna decreased its booster dose because it wanted to lessen the side effect severity and increase its supply of vaccines to the world. By recommending flexibility through its “mix and match” booster recommendations, the CDC is maximizing public health and safety. Hopefully, with boosters, vaccines, and masks, we are heading towards the end of the pandemic.