CDC now allows to mix and match Covid-19 vaccines, DHEC encourages South Carolina residents to choose a booster dose vaccine on their own

Following the Thursday’s CDC decision, Americans are now allowed to choose a booster dose of any of the available Covid-19 vaccines.

The decision has been put into effect immediately meaning that Americans were allowed to choose booster dose starting Friday.

Last month CDC approved the booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, but this week they gave the green light for booster dose of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

The results of the testings around the world show that there is no risk of mixing different vaccines.

Following the CDC decision, DHEC sent updated guidelines to the state’s vaccine providers on Friday, but officials with the DHEC say it may take some time until providers update their protocols for booster doses meaning that those interested in a different booster vaccine might have to wait a few days.

“While it is technically and officially allowed, the logistics may take a little bit longer today or maybe a couple of days, depending on the site, so they might want to call ahead before they just show up somewhere to see if they’re prepared and ready,” DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said Friday morning.

While the mix and match policy for booster dose has changed, the same groups of eligible people remain in place. That said, those 65 and older or those at least 18 years old who have a medical condition that increases risk of developing severe illness are eligible to get boosted dose at least six months after the second dose.

Those who will decide to get the Pfizer booster dose will receive the same dosage of the vaccine.

Those who originally received the Moderna vaccine, which is also a two-dose primary series, are now able to get any booster six months after their second dose as well, with the same qualifications as Pfizer’s: They must be 65 and older or be 18 and older and at high risk of infection or exposure because of health conditions or where they work or live.

When it comes to Moderna, those will decide to get the Moderna vaccine booster dose will get half of the original dosage.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is primarily one-dose vaccine. Those who received Johnson & Johnson will be eligible for booster dose two months after their first dose. When it comes to this vaccine, eligible for booster dose are adults above 18 years without additional requirements. J&J booster dose is the same dosage as the first one.

Numerous studies have confirmed that all three vaccines are providing additional immunity response after the booster dose. In the upcoming period, health officials might be able to help the public in choosing the best boosted dose for them.

“I believe that the CDC is going to work on providing some more considerations and guidance about that specifically, about which subpopulations may want to look at using a certain booster, either a different one or the same one and so forth,” she said. “So I think for those people, if they are not certain and want to wait, I would wait for the next week or two.”

As of now, those who received booster dose are not eligible to get another booster dose, but if the virus continues to spread like with the Delta wave, it’s likely to expect approval of another boosted dose in the upcoming months.

For more details regarding the Covid-19 data and vaccine sites, please visit DHEC website.

Cindy Carey

Publisher

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