What are the benefits of mixing and matching COVID-19 booster vaccines?

With the recent emergence of the new Omnicron variant, it is of utmost importance that we get our booster shots so as to stay completely immunized against the virus. However, some of us are hesitant and confused as to which booster shot to receive. Simply put, it is safe to take either booster shot regardless of whichever brand of vaccine you took before. Furthermore, research has shown that mixing of the vaccines can actually be more effective against Covid-19.

Earlier tests show that using different vaccinations for different doses can result in a higher antibody response than using the same vaccine for all doses. Although we don’t know why combining vaccinations could boost efficacy, but we do know that the vaccines will deliver the same information to the body regardless. It is believed that by mixing, it may activate various sections of the immune system or provoke a greater immunological response. Immunity may also remain longer as a result of this.

How do we know mixing of the shots is safe?

As research is still ongoing, many people are understandably worried about their vaccination booster shots. However, the current research available has shown zero signs that indicate that the mixing of vaccinations is harmful. In fact, the study which was led by the National institute of health and assisted by the Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Emory University School of Medicine, the University of Washington, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and various other academic institutions showed that the levels of binding and neutralizing antibodies were greater in all booster-primary vaccination combinations. The boosters caused no major side effects in any of the 456 individuals who were part of the test.

Should I prioritise getting a specific booster to hopefully boost my immunity or focus on getting fully vaccinated as soon as possible?

In the end, the most important factor in taking your booster shot is whichever one you can take earlier since there are no harmful side effects regardless of whichever shot you take. Consider obtaining the earliest type you can find. The main reason for doing so will be that the longer you wait to receive your booster shot, the longer you’ll be lacking optimal protection. With the weather turning colder and drier, activities shifting indoors, and all of the holiday travel, the next several months might show yet another rise in covid cases, Instead, of waiting for a specific booster, you should probably protect yourself as much as possible throughout this period. Further with the newly emerged Omnicron variant of the Covid-19 virus, it is of utmost that we receive our booster as soon as possible to stay protected against the new variant.

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