OCT 21, 2021 4:30 PM PDT

FDA approves mixing and matching COVID booster shots

WRITTEN BY: J. Bryce Ortiz

On Wednesday, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Americans to be given a different COVID-19 “booster” vaccine than the original vaccination they received. In other words, an individual who originally received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine can now receive the Moderna vaccine as a booster, for example. This is termed a “mix and match” approach and is an important step in combating COVID-19. 

Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said, “the available data suggest waning immunity in some populations who are fully vaccinated. The availability of [the] authorized booster is important for continued protecting against COVID-19 disease.” However, the FDA left regulations in place regarding who can receive the booster vaccines that some have found confusing. Current data and regulations state that booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines can be administered at least 6 months after completion of the original vaccines to individuals who are 65 year of age and older, individuals 18 to 64 with a high risk of severe COVID-19, and individuals who may frequently be exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 such as healthcare workers. Individuals who are interested in receiving a booster vaccine should consult their healthcare provider to determine eligibility.

The FDA approved the booster vaccine based on data from several recent research studies. In one study currently online as a preprint on medRxiv, NIH funded researchers evaluated whether mixing and matching booster vaccinations provided significant immunity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. In the study, 458 individuals who received a COVID-19 vaccine at least 12 weeks prior were enrolled in the study and received a vaccine different from their original vaccine. Importantly the researchers found that regardless of original vaccine, booster vaccinations increased antibodies against COVID-19. 

Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, stated that the FDA is studying and evaluating whether the booster vaccines can be extended to additional populations and age groups, and they are hoping to have a decision in the coming weeks. Marks said, “we want to make sure that if we deploy the boosters in all of the age ranges, that we truly are making a benefit outweigh any risks.” Regardless, the recent approval of the booster vaccine is an important step forward in ending the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Sources: FDAPoliticomedRxiv.

About the Author
PhD in Neuroscience
Science and medical writer | Researcher | Interested in the intersection between translational science, drug development, and policy
You May Also Like
FEB 20, 2022
Health & Medicine
Effective Covid-19 Multidrug Treatment Using Repurposed Time-Tested and Inexpensive Drugs
FEB 20, 2022
Effective Covid-19 Multidrug Treatment Using Repurposed Time-Tested and Inexpensive Drugs
Ivermectin has been a drug of controversy in the COVID-19 treatment debate. Last year, it got a bad rap from the mainstr ...
APR 01, 2022
Cannabis Sciences
Can weed cure Covid?
APR 01, 2022
Can weed cure Covid?
Since legal cannabis has gained momentum throughout the country, so have the reports that it's the cure all for everythi ...
APR 14, 2022
Drug Discovery & Development
COVID-19 Drug Combo More Effective than Single Drugs
APR 14, 2022
COVID-19 Drug Combo More Effective than Single Drugs
COVID-19 is more effectively treated by a combination of drugs than singular drugs alone. The corresponding study was pu ...
JUL 01, 2022
Coronavirus
Nanobodies Could Protect Us From Every Variant
JUL 01, 2022
Nanobodies Could Protect Us From Every Variant
Immune reactive molecules called nanobodies, which are based on molecules found in llamas could offer robust protection ...
AUG 16, 2022
Coronavirus
Covid Lockdown Cleaned up the Air
AUG 16, 2022
Covid Lockdown Cleaned up the Air
In a recent experimental study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, a collaborative research team from German ...
NOV 20, 2022
Immunology
Mouth Ulcer as First Sign of Monkeypox Infection
NOV 20, 2022
Mouth Ulcer as First Sign of Monkeypox Infection
German scientists provided a case study of a 51-year-old patient that highlighted one of the first symptoms a monkeypox- ...
Loading Comments...