Is mixing and matching Covid-19 vaccines safe? Experts weigh in.

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 7:48 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The FDA authorized ‘mix and match’ booster shots for American’s who received the Moderna or the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

ECU sophomore, Morgan Draughon, was doubtful about the approval.

“Normally with medication they don’t want you to mix medications in general. So why are they asking you to mix vaccines. That just doesn’t seem safe.”

Though some people plan on doing their research on the mixing vaccines, Dr. Rob Swanda, a medical device engineer from Cornell University, analyzed data that backs up the U.S regulators stance on boosters regarding the three available shots.

“Definitely understand about people wanting to do their research but all the 3 are doing the exact same thing,” Dr. Swanda said. “They just are taking a slightly different road to get to the same destination.”

In a study that involved more than 450 people, Dr. Rob Swanda analyzed preprint data of their booster protection and created a chart for people to understand.

COVID booster vaccine comparison
COVID booster vaccine comparison(Dr. Rob Swanda)

According to Swanda’s chart, if you’re fully vaccinated from Pfizer and receive a Moderna booster shot, you’re more than 17-times protected from COVID compared to getting the Pfizer booster. If you’re fully vaccinated from Moderna and choose the Pfizer booster, you’re 9 times more protected. Notably, the Johnson and Johnson booster came in last place for each scenario.

“This is just an increased fold number after they got the booster 30-days out to show how much more protection they have,” Dr. Swanda said.

Swanda warns that if an individual mixes booster shots they could have different reactions to it, but each works in different ways to protect you from the virus.

“The different vaccines are really just giving your body the instruction to make the spike protein. Then your body can make antibodies against spike protein in case it sees COVID-19 in the future and have a recognition of what it looks like and to be able to stop it from further replicating inside of your body.”

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