Moderna vs Pfizer: Is it okay to mix and match updated COVID-19 booster shots?


As residents prepare to roll up their sleeves for a third, fourth, or even fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, some may be wondering: Should I stick with the same brand or is it safe to to mix together ?

When it comes to Omicron’s new bivalent COVID-19 booster, the answer is yes, you can mix and match.

You can get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna version, whichever offer you previously received.

“The best booster for you is the one you can get – the Pfizer or the Moderna can be used, and they can be mixed or matched,” said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at UCLA. Fielding School of Public Health. “If one is missing, do not hesitate to take the other.”

mix and match

Suppose a person has received three doses of the Moderna vaccine. Should they stick with Moderna or mix it with a Pfizer booster?

The effect on the body’s immune system should be similar in both directions, wrote UC San Francisco infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong in a Tweeter.

“There’s nothing wrong with mixing Moderna and Pfizer,” said Dr. Ralph Gonzales, associate dean for clinical innovation and director of innovation at UC San Francisco, during a campus town hall. last week. “I just got my Moderna two days ago and it was an interesting experience. I definitely felt a stronger response with the Moderna – having had Pfizer before – but both combinations are good.

The US Food and Drug Administration actually allowed mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster doses starting last year, after allowing people to get their first booster dose. Despite the choice, many people ended up sticking with the brand.

But others have changed it, either by preference, availability, or recommendation. Many who initially received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for example, opted for Pfizer or Moderna at the time of the booster.

What is the next

When some people – those aged 50 and over and those with compromised immune systems – became eligible for a second conventional booster shot earlier this year, some decided to opt for the other brand. Dr. Robert Wachter, chairman of the department of medicine at UC San Francisco, decided in April to go with Moderna for his fourth shot after three consecutive Pfizers.

“I saw it as a draw,” he said. tweeted at the time.

The updated Omicron bivalent booster is available for ages 12 and up. Adults can choose between Pfizer or Moderna; teens ages 12-17 are only eligible for Pfizer.

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the updated recall is expected to be available for children ages 5 to 11, possibly as early as October.

Officials are urging people to get the updated recall, which they say will reduce the risk of infection. It’s called a bivalent shot because it’s designed to protect against not only the original strain of coronavirus, but also the latest Omicron subvariants that have dominated the country this summer, including BA.5 .

“Bivalent boosters provide protection against the subvariants currently circulating at the highest levels, and they will be one of our best tools for planning a safer, healthier, and happier fall and winter vacation.” , Ferrer said Thursday.

Los Angeles Times

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