Mixing vaccines for boosters could produce higher antibody response, new study shows


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new study from the National Institute of Health looked at mixing and matching each vaccine combination. When it comes to boosters, the study found it’s safe and effective to mix and match vaccines.

In some cases, it produced a higher antibody response than an extra dose of the same vaccine.

“It’s raising some questions about what to boost the J&J recipients with,” said Dr. David Montefiori, Professor and Virologist at Duke University Medical Center. “It does appear that the antibody levels at least are substantially higher if they get boosted with the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine rather than getting another shot of the J&J vaccine.”

Mixing and matching vaccines is not authorized in the United States.

The study showed that after 15 days, people who first received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot averaged a 76-fold antibody increase with Moderna boosters, a 35-fold increase with a Pfizer booster, and a 4-fold increase with a second J&J shot.

The authors of the study said this was not designed to compare responses. The study had less than 500 participants and has not been peer-reviewed.

“It doesn’t matter whether you got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine initially, you can get boosted with either one of those and it’s equally safe and equally immunogenic,” Montefiori said.

Montefiori reminds people the data is preliminary, and it’s hard to tell if and when the mixing of vaccines would be approved.

“The idea of mixing the vaccines is going to take more time and more data to really sort that out, but what you know right now does raise the question of what would be the better boost for people who got the J&J vaccine,” Montefiori said.

The FDA advisory panel will be discussing this study Friday afternoon, but won’t be voting on authorizing the mixing of vaccines.

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