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Local health experts weigh in on possible approval to mix-and-match COVID booster shots

If the mixing and matching of booster shots is approved, then maybe somebody who qualifies for a booster shot and initially got the Moderna vaccine could go on to get a Pfizer booster shot. Maybe the side effects they got with Moderna were bad and they want to try something different.”

The U.S. may soon move to authorize the mixing and matching of coronavirus booster shots this week. That's according to several major media outlets including The Associated Press

"I would predict that [the FDA] would allow some form of mixing and matching, but that they would make a recommendation to stick with the same brand as your as your first gold standard option," said Lindsey Valenzuela, Associate Vice President of Population Health Integration at Desert Oasis Healthcare. "There has been some thought that perhaps having two different mechanisms of action in your system with vaccines might give you an advantage."

The National Institute of Health presented an ongoing study about mixing booster shots to the Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisers last week. The study showed it didn't matter which vaccine people received initially and then what booster shot they got after. It said it was safe to mix boosters and even helped rev up a person's immune system. Lastly, it showed that it helped fight against the Delta variant. 

"I don't know that you're going to escape those most common side effects by switching brands," said Valenzuela. "But it may be something that people want to investigate themselves and see if they have a different response or a different vaccine."

Riverside County says it's ready with plenty of supplies if mixing is approved.

"It makes more sense that one would provide a certain type of protection, while another might provide another type of protection," said Riverside County spokesperson Jose Arballo. "It's one of those things that allows more flexibility, as we're moving forward."

Arballo said so far, 74,308 people within the county have gotten a booster shot. 

"Right now, we are waiting for approval from the federal and state health officials. It's always good when you have more tools in your toolbox to help you with vaccinations and boosters."

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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