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Can people who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson get a Pfizer booster shot? Health officials explain

Health officials shed light on Pfizer booster shots for those fully vaccinated with Moderna or...
Health officials shed light on Pfizer booster shots for those fully vaccinated with Moderna or J&J(WEAU)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Variations of COVID-19 have led to some people needing a bit of a boost to fight the virus. In September, the FDA approved a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine. This makes Pfizer the only approved COVID-19 vaccine cleared for a booster in the United States. Those who can get a vaccine booster vary widely and are limited to those 65 or older, have health issues and are in at-risk environments.

That leaves millions of people who received a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine wondering when they can get additional protection.

Doctor Ken Johnson, Prevea Health Chief Medical Officer, recommends if you are fully vaccinated with either Moderna or J&J to not seek out a Pfizer booster shot.

“There’s not a lot of good information on it yet,” Johnson said. “We don’t know for certain if or how effective it will be switching from one to another.”

Lieske Giese, Eau Claire County-City Health Department Director, says whatever vaccine type you started with needs to be the same one you end with.

“That continues to be the frame that all of us in the U.S. are operating with,” Giese said. “If you started with Moderna, your second dose should be Moderna. The same with Pfizer. If you started with Pfizer, again, the third booster dose would be with Pfizer.”

Johnson says with the data collected since the rollout of Pfizer’s booster, the risk of getting the delta variant has decreased.

“Most importantly is that the vaccine has good evidence that they are very effective in lessening symptoms and preventing hospitalizations,” Johnson said.

Moderna and J&J are currently seeking FDA approval.

Johnson says the process is long and there are many steps to go through to make sure it is safe and effective.

“There’s been a lot of controversy about the vaccine as to whether it’s safe and effective and they are being very careful not to go around or short circuit any of the normal protections that they have,” Johnson said.

Giese says the FDA could be meeting soon to discuss approvals for the other two vaccines.

“It’s in conversation and the FDA will be having a meeting soon as next week, I believe, to really talk that through and the data related to a booster being the right next step for those two vaccines,” Giese said.

For those who did get a Pfizer booster dose, Johnson wants to stress that it takes two to four weeks to work and to not let your guard down.

“What’s important is to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” Johnson said. “Wearing a mask, minimizing your social group size, social distancing, and when the booster becomes available, we recommend getting it.”

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