Do You Need a “Mix-and-Match” COVID Booster Shot? New Approval, Explained

While we await on the CDC's final guidance on mix-and-match booster shots, here's what the FDA's approval means.

by Ethan Freedman

On Wednesday, October 20th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved booster shots of both the Moderna and the Johnson and Johnson vaccinations against COVID-19, reports STAT. The agency also approved a so-called “mix and match” strategy, where people could receive a different vaccine booster than what they received for their initial dose.

A group of CDC advisors is meeting today to discuss the mixing strategy, as well as guidance for who receives these boosters, STAT reports, and their decision, if approved by the CDC Director, will set guidance on boosters across the country.

What Did the FDA Approve?

approvedAssociated Pressthe CDC recommends

Why Might We Want a Booster?

new variants such as DeltaAPAP

Assuming final guidance from the CDC follows the FDA’s suggestions, here are the basic takeaways:

  1. Booster doses will now be approved for all three vaccines
  2. For Pfizer and Moderna, boosters will be approved for anyone over age 65, or those 18 and over under certain high-risk conditions
  3. Boosters doses will be approved for all initial recipients of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine
  4. You will be able to get a different vaccine than the one you initially got, and recipients of Johnson and Johnson might want to consider getting a boost of either Pfizer or Moderna

CDC notes