Covid booster shot: ‘Mixing and matching’ certain vaccines could offer better immunity

91-year-old Margaret Keenan gets her Covid-19 booster vaccine

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The National Institutes of Health (The NIH) study looked at antibody levels of more than 450 adults after receiving one of the three jabs available in the USA including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer.

The participants, divided into groups, took an extra shot of either their original jab or a different booster.

The study then measured their antibody levels two and four weeks after they received the vaccine.

With Pfizer’s and Moderna’s booster working the best, all of the “mixing and matching” was proven to increase the antibody levels, according to the study.

Recipients of Pfizer or Moderna shots experienced a bigger boost of their antibody responses than just people who received another dose of Johnson & Johnson.

The study suggests that getting a Pfizer or Moderna booster after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers a better immune response.

The NIH also noticed that swapping third doses of Moderna’s or Pfizer’s jabs brings the same results.

The technology behind these vaccines is different as Johnson & Johnson uses an adenovirus compared to Pfizer’s and Moderna’s mRNA solution.

By “mixing and matching” jabs with different technology, recipients might get protection against coronavirus’ new variants, the study suggests.

Another difference between these vaccines is the scheduled dosage.

Johnson & Johnson offers a one-shot scheme while Pfizer and Moderna offer a two-dose schedule.

The efficacy also differs, with Pfizer and Moderna scoring around 95 percent and Johnson & Johnson achieving 66.3 percent overall.

This new study by NIH examining the pros and cons of combining different boosters hasn’t yet been peer-reviewed.

As with your first and second dose, there are some possible side effects of the booster.

Potential side effects include feeling pain and tenderness in the arm where you had your vaccine administered.

Other people also reported headaches, tiredness or insomnia, and mild flu-like symptoms.

No new symptoms have emerged after participants received their third dose, according to the study.

In the UK, people most at risk from Covid are currently receiving their booster shots.

This includes people over 50, health and social care workers, and over 16s with underlying health conditions.

The NHS recommends a six-month gap between your second and third dose for better protection.

Don’t contact the NHS about your third dose, they will let you know when it’s your turn to book.

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