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Should people get a Pfizer ‘booster’ shot after getting Johnson & Johnson? Experts weigh in.


Should individuals receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine consider getting a booster through Pfizer or Moderna? Here’s what you need to know. (Martin Bureau/AFP)

As experts warn some areas of the US could be susceptible to “Dense Outbreak” For the coronavirus delta version, some doctors are suggesting that individuals who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine consider getting a shot from Pfizer or Moderna as a “booster.” This advice matches research showing that Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines, which depend on messenger RNA, can give “Permanent Immunity”.

But who is the candidate for this extra shot, and what are the officials saying? Here’s what you need to know.

Experts aren’t necessarily opposed to the idea – and some are doing it themselves

Dr. Gregory PolandThe idea of ​​mixing vaccines is not unprecedented, says the co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group. “The first time children under 8 years old get the flu vaccine, they should get two doses,” Poland tells Yahoo Life. “You know, that’s what we try to deliver, but it’s not always possible because of the supply.” (there different types of flu vaccines.)

It is one of several reasons why Poland says it is not necessarily opposed to mixing COVID-19 vaccines. “Do I think this is an unsafe thing? No, I have no reason to think immunologically that it would be unsafe,” Poland says. “Do I think it’s likely to lead to higher antibody levels? Yes, definitely.”

Dr. Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Organization, shared twitter thread About your decision to take the Pfizer shot as a booster. “We know the single-dose J&J regimen is highly protective against acute disease, but not as protective against symptomatic disease as mRNA, meaning it is less protective against infection,” Rasmussen tweeted.

Formerly at Columbia University in New York City, Rasmussen received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in April, but decided to get the Pfizer shot in Canada, where she now lives. One of the motivations behind the decision was the availability of mRNA vaccines, another was the increasing prevalence of the delta variant. “I think I’ve done the right thing to make sure I’m as safe as possible from the Delta variant and thus protect others who only have one shot,” Rasmussen wrote.

Infectious disease organizations have yet to comment, but a UK study is promising

US officials have yet to issue a statement about mRNA COVID-19 vaccines being used as boosters, and Poland says they are not alone. “There is no official recommendation for anyone, anywhere, to do this,” says Poland. “No official body is recommending it. [But] Studies show you get better immunity than just a single dose of adenovirus vector vaccine.”

Study Poland is referring to one of the University of Oxford researchers released earlier this week that gave a major boost to the idea of ​​mixing COVID-19 vaccines. The study found that people who were given one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine followed by the Pfizer shot achieved the same level of immunity as those who were given two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. The AstraZeneca vaccine, while given in two doses, is a vaccine similar to Johnson & Johnson’s, which works on a modified virus (or an “adenovirus vector”) instead of mRNA to deliver the genetic code needed to fight SARS-CoV-2. is dependent. .

Vaccines may work in different ways, but they all work toward the same goal.

Poland says it’s too soon to know for sure if the mRNA vaccine mix in the J&J vaccine bolsters immunity, but if it works there’s likely a simpler explanation: They’re both specific to SARS-CoV-2 The spikes are training the body to recognize the protein. Poland has a unique way of explaining it. “That’s why I [recently] Rented an Infiniti to get to the airport, but we have a Honda Accord,” he says. “I can get to the airport in a lot more style and faster… in that Infiniti than I do in my Accord.” I can But they are both on the same path that leads to the same destination. By analogy, it’s the same with these two different vaccines.”

Dr. Monica Gandhi, Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and Head of the Department of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine, also tweeted auxiliary formula about two. “Remember that the J&J and mRNA vaccines are not really different – the J&J has DNA inside an adenovirus ‘vector’ (which it brings), and mRNA vaccines have mRNA inside a lipid envelope, ” She wrote. “That mRNA is ‘translated’ by your machinery into a part of the spike protein and you look at that spike protein, think it’s different, and raise a vigorous immune response against it.”

Those interested should talk to their doctor and consider their risk factors.

While several leading experts are supporting the idea of ​​getting a booster shot, Poland says it’s important to talk to a health care provider and weigh the benefits versus the risks. Poland says, “If the patient was a young, healthy child, would I worry about it? No, not at all. The risk is low in the beginning. A single dose of the vaccine clearly protects them.” “What if you are a 70-year-old smoker who is obese and you have got the J&J vaccine? I will consider it. So what I am saying is to think of it as a shield. One might even consider doing it, even in the absence of a robust database, when your risk of doing nothing is thought to outweigh the risk of doing something.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer offer “safe and effective” vaccines with the most common side effects — fever, body aches and muscle aches — disappearing within a few days. The organization is currently looking at rare occurrences of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines.

Both Rasmussen and Gandhi seem to agree. “Sometimes public health needs to make tough decisions without the full data set to support this,” Rasmussen tweeted. “Humble in COVID means we change our recommendations with changing data,” couple Gandhi. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, possible side effects, and vaccination centers, Visit CDC.

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