US to allow Americans to ‘mix and match’ boosters of Covid vaccine

American regulators plan to let Americans “mix and match” booster shots of the Covid-19 vaccine.

This means that people aren’t required to get the booster from the same brand that was used in their original inoculation, the New York Times first reported late on Monday.

Researchers presented the findings of a study where they gave participants different brands of the booster vaccines to an expert committee that reports to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The research found that boosters, even when given to people who got a different brand originally, led to an increase in antibody count.

The study’s leaders emphasized that the study did not conclude whether there is a combination of vaccines that is more effective than others.

The FDA is expected to authorize boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by Wednesday evening. It is possible that “mix and match” approach could be approved by then.

Regulators in September authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech two-shot Covid-19 vaccine for those aged 65 and older and some high-risk Americans.

The regulator’s advisory panel has also backed the use of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.

The government would not recommend one shot over another, and it might note that using the same vaccine as a booster when possible is preferable, the New York Times report said, citing people familiar with the agency’s plans.

The FDA declined to comment on the matter. US health officials have been under pressure to authorize the additional shots after the White House announced plans in August for a widespread booster campaign pending approvals from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

A study by the National Institutes of Health last week showed people who got Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine as a first shot had a stronger immune response when boosted with vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

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