WASHINGTON: Americans may choose a booster dose of COVID-19 that differs from the initial vaccination, but the recommendation is to stick to the vaccine they first received, if available, White House chief physician Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday.
“It’s usually advisable to get a booster, which is the initial treatment program you got first,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with CNN.
“But for some reason – and there may be different circumstances in people, availability, or just different personal choices – you can, as we say, mix and match,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended COVID-19 vaccine boosters for recipients of Moderna Inc and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, saying Americans could choose a shot other than the original vaccination as a booster.
Fauc’s comments contradicted the recommendations made this week by the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, which said Americans should get effects, but did not specify which combinations would be best.
The recommendations also opened the door once for J&J vaccine recipients to receive a dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines that have been shown to provide better protection in various studies.
“You can now mix and match each other, but usually it only makes sense to continue with the original treatment program,” Fauci said.
U.S. surgeon Vivek Murthy reiterated the proposal.
“If you have a Pfizer / Moderna and if you did well with the primary series, I think it’s reasonable to stick to the original,” he said in an interview with CNBC.
Studies have shown that Pfizer, Moderna and J&J amplifiers improve protection against the virus, he said.
“The bottom line is: We now have good options, we have flexibility on the vaccine,” Murthy said.
While these vaccines have been very effective in preventing serious illness and death, some government researchers have suggested that boosters are needed to keep immunity high, especially when a highly contagious Delta variant can cause breakthroughs among some fully vaccinated.