Wichita doctor offers guidance on mixing vaccine boosters

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 5:12 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Millions of Americans could become eligible for COVID-19 boosters within the coming days, pending the green light from the CDC.

When it comes to choosing which booster shot to get, one may provide more long-lasting protection than others.

“Each vaccine does a little different job to help induce your immune system just a little differently. So if you mix them, you may get a broader defense against any possible ways COVID-19 is trying to hurt you,” said Dr. Steven Stites with the University of Kansas Health System.

Dr. Stites recommends boosters of the mRNA vaccines, especially for those who originally received Johnson and Johnson.

New data shows while a second dose of J&J quadruples antibodies, a Moderna booster increases antibodies by 76 times and Pfizer by 35 times.

“I’m going to tell my patients ‘I’m glad you got the J&J, that’s a great form of vaccination. When it comes time to do the booster, I’m going to recommend you do the Moderna or Pfizer booster,” said Dr. Stites.

The Sedgwick County Health Department has given out mostly Pfizer for initial doses. After the FDA authorized the other 2 boosters, it expects shipments of Moderna by next week.

“We did give Moderna for a good six weeks when it first was available, so we want to be able to offer that to supplement what our partners are giving throughout the community,” said Sedgwick County Health Department health director Adrienne Byrne.

Whether you’re eligible for a booster really depends on which shot you got initially. If you chose Pfizer or Moderna, you can get a booster after six months if you’re immunocompromised or a high contact worker. If you got the J&J initially, you can get a booster after just two months. You don’t need to have any sort of underlying health conditions.

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