Clarity coming from FDA on the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster brands

  • Elmhurst Hospital nurse Gretchen Rodriguez cares for a patient with COVID-19. There were 1,615 COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals as of Wednesday.

    Elmhurst Hospital nurse Gretchen Rodriguez cares for a patient with COVID-19. There were 1,615 COVID-19 patients in Illinois hospitals as of Wednesday. Courtesy of Elmhurst Hospital

  • The FDA this week is expected to offer more clarity about COVID-19 boosters and whether it's safe to mix and match different vaccines.

    The FDA this week is expected to offer more clarity about COVID-19 boosters and whether it's safe to mix and match different vaccines. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/14/2021 6:10 AM

Can I top off my Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine with a Moderna booster? Or what about a Johnson & Johnson shot and a Moderna chaser six months later?

Those questions are expected to be reviewed Thursday and Friday as a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meets to discuss whether to approve boosters for J&J and Moderna.

 

Currently, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that if you received either Pfizer's or Moderna's COVID-19 shots initially, a third dose of the same vaccine should be used as a booster. J&J's is a one-dose vaccine.

But with more information available about vaccines and the potential expansion of boosters, this week's session should provide much more clarity, Chicago's chief health official expects.

"Very, very soon here, we are going to have guidance for you on boosters," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady at a Tuesday briefing.

Currently, just Pfizer's booster is approved for people age 65 and older or in nursing homes. It is also allowed for younger people with serious medical conditions or who work in high-risk settings, such as hospitals.

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But mixing and matching COVID-19 booster shots? "There's been a study going on of crossover vaccines, on exactly this question," said Arwady, adding the research is likely to come up this week at the FDA panel. "I encourage you to hang on just a little bit longer."

Illinois numbers

New cases of COVID-19 reached 2,913 Wednesday with 39 more people dying from the respiratory disease, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

Patients in hospital beds with COVID-19 came to 1,615 as of Tuesday night, which is less than the seven-day average of 1,631. There were 365 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds.

On Tuesday, 34,079 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 28,950.

The federal government has delivered 17,866,645 doses of vaccines to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December and 14,927,266 shots have been administered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

So far, 7,135,387 people have been fully vaccinated, or 56% of Illinois' 12.7 million population.

The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 2.1% based on a seven-day average, up a notch from 2% on Tuesday.

Total cases statewide stand at 1,660,883 and 25,327 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 105,515 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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