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Should I "Mix and Match" My COVID-19 Booster?

The CDC approved booster shots for all three available COVID-19 vaccines and anyone who is eligible can now “mix and match” their doses. What does it mean to “mix and match” vaccines and is it safe? We answered some frequently asked questions below.

What does it mean to “mix and match” vaccines?

Getting your initial COVID-19 vaccine from one manufacturer and then a booster from a different manufacturer is “mixing and matching.” The CDC now allows recipients to "mix and match" their booster shot.

That means if your first two doses were with the Pfizer vaccine, you can receive a booster dose with the Moderna vaccine. If you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are eligible to receive a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot. Or, if your first two doses were with the Moderna vaccine, you can receive a Pfizer vaccine.

Is it safe to “mix and match” vaccines?

Yes. The CDC and FDA thoroughly reviewed the available data before making this recommendation. If you prefer getting a booster that is from the same manufacturer as your initial vaccine series, you may do so. When scheduling your booster dose, you will be able to see which vaccine you will be getting. However, allowing people to “mix and match” will provide greater access to those who need a booster.

When should I get a booster if I plan to “mix and match?”

If you are eligible for a booster dose and initially received a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, you can get your booster if it has been at least six months since your initial vaccine series. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can receive a booster if it has been at least two months since your shot. That guidance remain the same, even if you plan to get a different vaccine type for your booster. 

Is there a benefit of “mixing and matching” vaccines?

There are limited data to suggest there is any benefit to “mixing and matching.” However if you had a reaction to one type of vaccine, getting a different vaccine for your booster may be a good option for you. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please speak with your healthcare provider before booking your appointment.