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Doctor putting a bandage after Covid-19 vaccination.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly preparing to allow Americans the option of mixing and matching their booster vaccine, the New York Times reported.

This means people would have the ability to receive a booster shot that is different from what they were initially inoculated with. The FDA is expected to make the announcement later this week. According to the New York Times, the agency may recommend people to get a booster of the vaccine they originally received but will give Americans the option to choose. The big announcement comes as the FDA prepares to authorize booster shots for both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson on Oct. 20.  Boosters for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were approved by the FDA earlier this year.

The mix and match approach was discovered during a study led by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers found that people who had received a single dose shot of Johnson & Johnson paired with a Moderna booster saw their antibody levels jump “76-fold in 15 days, compared with only a fourfold increase after an extra dose of Johnson & Johnson.”

Similarly, the antibody levels raised of a person who had received a booster of Pfizer mixed with the Johnson & Johson vaccine, but the antibody response was not as successful as when paired with the Moderna booster, the report noted.

Dr. Robert Atmar of Baylor College of Medicine, an author behind the study, said that the findings are a good sign.

“What the study shows is that regardless of what an individual received originally, getting boosted with one of the three vaccines that we evaluated, the one from Moderna, the one from Janssen, the one from Pfizer, led to good antibody responses in each of the groups,” he told Insider.

CDC officials noted at their advisory panel on Oct. 15 that there may be instances or health conditions where people need to receive a different booster vaccine than what they initially received. The move will also give Americans the flexibility to choose the booster they believe best suits their health needs.

 

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