The FDA is reportedly planning to allow 'mix-and-match' booster shots
- The FDA is expected to allow a "mix-and-match" approach for Covid-19 booster shots, The New York Times reported.
- The authorisation will allow Americans to get a different brand booster than what they initially received.
- It will not recommend one brand over another but may mention it is preferable to receive the same brand, The Times reported.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
The Food and Drug Administration is set to authorise a "mix-and-match" approach for Americans seeking booster shots, allowing Americans to receive a different brand of Covid-19 vaccine as a booster than the one they initially received, The New York Times reported on Monday.
People familiar with the planning told The Times that the agency will not recommend one brand over another when announcing the new approach, though it may mention that getting the same brand for the booster shot is preferable, according to The Times report.
Last month, the FDA authorised booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at least six months after the second dose. The agency is expected to authorise booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines by Wednesday evening, according to The Times report.
The FDA's expected authorisation comes after the first major US study was released last week to test using different boosters of Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 shot than the one initially received.
Results showed the "mix-and-match" method could be safely done. Boosting J&J with Moderna or Pfizer may initially prompt a stronger immune response, Insider's Hilary Brueck and Andrew Dunn reported.
"What the study shows is that regardless of what an individual received originally, getting boosted with one of the three vaccines that we evaluated, the one from Moderna, the one from Janssen, the one from Pfizer, led to good antibody responses in each of the groups," lead study author Dr Robert Atmar from Baylor College of Medicine told Insider.
During an advisory committee meeting on October 15, Dr Amanda Cohn, a representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said she doesn't think there's "any need" to have a preference of brand for mixing or matching.
"From a public health perspective, there's a clear need in some situations for individuals to receive a different vaccine," Cohn said.
Cohn added that mixing and matching booster shots could benefit those who received the one-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"Many of those individuals may not have access to a second dose of J&J, so if there's not any allowable language in the FDA fact sheets or EUA authorisation, then those individuals are left behind," she continued.
Dr Michael Kurilla, an immunologist at the National Institutes of Health, said the "safety data is great," referring to the results of the "mix-and-match" study.
"I think we may end up in a situation not too dissimilar to influenza," Kurilla said during the October 15 meeting. "No one talks about what influenza vaccine did you get last year, because we don't have an EUA or an approval for a particular booster for you if you got a certain vaccine."
Representatives for the FDA did not immediately return Insider's request for comment.
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