FDA OKs mixing COVID-19 booster shots, now what?

Texans have many questions one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced major updates regarding COVID-19 booster shots.

SAN ANTONO – Texans have many questions one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced major updates regarding COVID-19 booster shots.

On Wednesday, the FDA delivered a one-two punch, after it approved booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and authorized using boosters that differ from the vaccine originally used to immunize people against COVID-19. The FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine as a booster in September.

“The FDA has said that it’s safe for you to select whatever booster is available to you, so I think that makes the process a lot more simple,” said Dr. Tracey Baas, ofTexas BioMed.

However, the public can’t mix their boosters until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases its new guidelines. That information should be released in the near future.

“I can’t wait,” said Marilu Alvarado, who has diabetes and received her second dose in May. Therefore, she won’t be eligible to receive her third dose until November.

Epidemiologist Dr. Jason Bowling said the research looks promising on mixing boosters — in fact, doing so may benefit you.

“If [you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine]…and get a second J&J vaccine dose, the same product…boosts their antibody levels by about four times, which is better. But if [someone gets a] Pfizer dose for the second dose, [the studies show] it boosted their antibody levels by about 35 times,” Bowling said.

Alvarado is looking forward to receiving her booster shot next month and hopes more people get their third dose.

“That’s the only way this pandemic will end,” she said.

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About the Author:

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.