With just under 70% of all Americans getting at least one COVID-19 vaccination, and the Delta variant spreading in many communities, in July, Pfizer asked the FDA for approval to administer a third shot to boost immunity. Meanwhile, scientists are now trying to determine if a third “booster” shot could be just what the doctor ordered.
Researchers at 12 sites across the country are studying the safety and the body’s immune response to a mixed booster shot of one of the three vaccines approved under FDA emergency use authorization. Scientists want to know if you got a Moderna or Pfizer shot would it be better to stay with one of those two or receive a J&J shot?
“So, we are studying all of the different combinations in order to answer that question,” Judy Martin, MD, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UPMC, told Ivanhoe Newswire.
And should people who initially got one J&J shot, get a second or should they get a Pfizer or Moderna shot? Researchers are enrolling fully vaccinated adults to get a third shot. Volunteers will provide blood samples, so researchers can study immune responses. Researchers say it’s important information to have as more COVID-19 variants, like Delta, are identified.
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Judy Martin, MD, elaborated, “So just like with the flu vaccine, you get a dose each year because the variance or the types of influence change; the concern is that at some point our current vaccinations might not protect us as well as they are doing right now for the variants.”
Researchers will follow participants for a year, but say they’ll have initial results by the end of this summer, in time for any possible surge of COVID-19 in the fall.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, is leading and funding the study. A list of the 12 sites studying the mixed COVID booster is available on clinicaltrials.gov. The identifier for the trial is NCT-0488-9209.
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Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.