‘Science is happening at breakneck speed’ – Guidance for COVID, vaccines changing daily

Coronavirus

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – A new study showed people who received the Pfizer vaccine can benefit from a booster of the Johnson & Johnson shot, which seems to affect a different part of the immune system.

However, experts said the best booster is the one you can get soonest.

Just about every day, something new comes out about COVID19, vaccines, and boosters. University of North Carolina infectious disease expert Dr. David Wohl said that’s to be expected in an evolving situation like a pandemic.

“Science is happening at a breakneck speed,” he noted.

A recent study showed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can work well as a booster following the Pfizer series by stimulating a different part of the immune system.

“We have two arms of our immune system: antibodies that attack things, and then our cells that can gobble up germs and also other infected cells,” Wohl said.

Researchers tested both Pfizer boosters and J&J boosters six months after the initial Pfizer series.

“One made a little bit better antibody response. One made a little bit better T cell response,” Wohl added. “It shows you get a response to either one. I urge people not to really fret over which booster to get.”

The study has not yet been peer-reviewed. Wohl said it’s important not to become overwhelmed with the results of every new study.

“I do think that information overload can be a problem,” he said.

He said the most important thing to do is get your shot or your booster as soon as possible — especially as winter and the holidays approach. He’s already seeing more COVID-19 patients in the hospital.

“Don’t worry too much if you go to the pharmacy and they don’t have your favorite vaccine there. Get boosted that day anyhow,” he said. “We know boosting is protecting us. We are not seeing people come to the hospital who are boosted.”

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