Will FDA Allow 'mix And Match' Of Covid Booster Shots?

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The Food and Drug Administration may be planning to allow people to receive Covid-19 vaccine booster shot that is different from the initial dose, reports indicate.

The agency is likely to make the announcement on mix and match approach on coronavirus booster vaccines on Wednesday. The move will be part of FDA's expected authorization of boosters for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The FDA's likely decision, which would provide flexibility to doctors and other vaccinators, is based on findings of a federally funded "mix and match" study that was presented to an expert committee that advises the agency.

As per the study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, recipients of Johnson & Johnson's single-dose shot who received a Moderna booster recorded 76-fold rise in their antibody levels in 15 days. This was compared with only a fourfold increase after an extra dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The study also found that a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster shot raised the antibody levels of Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients more than its own vaccine, but it was less than a Moderna shot.

The FDA reportedly is expected to authorize booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by Wednesday. Last week, the advisory panel to the FDA recommended booster doses of both vaccines.

The agency last month had authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for older people and high risk workers at least six months after the second dose.

As per reports, the cost of a different vaccine as a booster will be covered by the federal government only if the FDA authorizes the mix and match approach.

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