FDA To Allow ‘Mix-And-Match’ Booster Shots For COVID-19

(Photo by AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
Font Size:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a “mix-and-match” method for administering COVID-19 booster shots Wednesday, which will allow Americans to receive a different brand for their booster shot than the one they were initially vaccinated with.

The FDA did not recommend a particular brand over another, or claim that mixing and matching boosters is better than receiving the same shot as the initial vaccination. The decision will give vaccine providers more flexibility in distributing boosters, and will potentially grant increased protection to some Americans who are experiencing waning vaccine efficacy.

A government-funded mix-and-match study found that recipients of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine experienced a 76-fold increase in antibodies when they received a dose of Moderna’s booster shot, versus just a four-fold increase when getting a second dose of J&J.

The FDA’s Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) just recommended approval of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s boosters last week, after the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both signed off on a Pfizer booster for select groups of Americans last month. (RELATED: Even Without Vaccines, Kids Are Still Safer From COVID-19 Than Their Vaccinated Grandparents)

Many experts have been clamoring for the FDA to act on the mix-and-match method for months, as it may offer increase protection, particularly to recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Several other countries, including Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom have already been mixing COVID-19 vaccines to great affect.