The idea of mixing and matching of vaccines is meant for person who are eligible to receive the second round of covid vaccine that is not like the first or initial dose manufacturer. Example is a person who has been vaccinated with Pfizer but opts for Moderna, this would qualify for a mixing and matching scenario.
According to data released by the CDC director some days ago, people eligible for vaccination can get any of the three available booster doses currently being rolled out to the public, irrespective of which shot they received as there first.
The decision and advisory come early to prepare people especially the elderly and to an extent those with underlying condition, whose health state is compromised and thus increases their chances and risk of severe infections. As it stands this vaccine mixes are meant for topping up the antibody’s levels. There is reliable data that indicated people who had received their initial single shot regimen of Johnson and Johnson got lower protection compared to the group that has been vaccinated with the initial two doses of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
The other group who has been identified and encouraged for half-dose of Moderna booster are those with underlying medical conditions and are aged 65 and above, beside the front-line works who stand a high chance of exposure to the disease in the cause of their performing their duties. This means for individual above 65 or those in high-risk category and had been vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer they can get any shot as a booster provided its administered to them after six months since their uptake of the second dose.
It has also been noted by expert the lack of evidence which contradicts the safety of mixing two different coronavirus vaccine which is good news, even though the data origin had been carried on a small number of people in comparison to the much larger studies which had shown that each vaccine is safe and effective when administered separately.
The reason for the advocacy and administration of the booster vaccines is because booster shots help to train the body to fully respond to pathogens when exposed to, through creation of memory cells that can last longer and have the capability to fight these pathogens over a long stretch of time.
For the case of previous coronavirus variants, the vaccine antibodies from the initial dose could have been said to be good enough to protect an individual against the dangers of catching the virus for up to six months at most. But the emergence of the delta variant has highlighted the need for booster shots for the body to keep fighting against any serious illness or hospitalisation.
Further studies have recorded a slight potential risk associated with Johnson & Johnson booster vaccine, which cause a rare but serious type of blood clot called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. This risk is predominant among women aged between 18 to 49 years old, they should be made aware of this risk and anyone who has developed this condition should not get a Johnson & Johnson booster.
Another potential risk of the Johnson & Johnson booster vaccine is a rare side effect called Guillain-Barré syndrome, this is a disorder in which the immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis. Those at highest risk for Guillain-Barré are men 50 to 64 years old, according to guidelines published by CDC in America. For most people who had suffered from the risk associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, after a while they gained fully recovery from GBS, but some individuals case resulted to permanent nerve damage.
It is important to note that moderately or severely immune compromised people who have already received a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, they may get a fourth shot after six months or more from their last vaccination according to the CDC. These people can therefore receive a booster dose of any of the three vaccines for a total of four vaccine doses, according to the CDC.