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Making sense of mix-and-match vaccine boosters

University at Buffalo

Booster shots for those previously vaccinated against COVID-19 are available and local officials say initial demand has been high. However, there are questions concerning which booster shot to get.

"We have gone from this very highly-regulated vaccine rollout, especially when vaccines were scarce, to a much more reasonable and accessible approach," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacob School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

"NIH (the National Institutes of Health) did a trial that mixed and matched (booster shots). They looked at those who got each one, a cohort, who got Johnson & Johnson, an equal cohort who got Modern, and another who got Pfizer. Then, they tried each one of those vaccines with each group," Nielsen explained.

"What they learned is they all work as a booster. They all work."

According to Nielsen, researchers have also learned more about the long-term impact of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"The J&J antibodies taper off pretty quickly so anybody who got J &J should have a second dose, either of J&J or one of the other two (Pfizer or Moderna). They all work, but the best response is from Moderna" Nielsen explained.

"Anybody who got J&J at least two months ago, no matter how old they are, can get another shot and any of those shots will do."

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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.