CDC Approves Wide Range of Options for COVID Boosters

CBS San Francisco
CBS San Francisco

NOVATO (KPIX) — The vaccine rollout is changing quickly as the CDC has now approved boosters for the Pfizer, Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson shots.

With CDC approval for all three vaccines, mixing and matching is also an option.

Jean Mariani was at a popup clinic in Novato on Friday to get a booster shot. Mariani originally received the Pfizer vaccine but switched to Moderna for her booster.

“I’m 65 and I just want to be safe,” she explained.

So did her friend Jeffrey Athias who initially got the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Jean said her doctor told her Moderna was the best one to get so she’s to blame for that,” Athias said.

Which one you should get and whether you should get them at all depends on a few factors.

“The reason you’re seeing all this mixed messaging is they’re really protecting against severe disease really well, the two-dose mRNA vaccines,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert with UCSF. “So it’s really hard for the FDA and the CDC to recommend for everybody and they haven’t.”

Dr. Gandhi says one thing is clear: If you originally got the J&J vaccine, get the booster and switch to an mRNA vaccine. Those who are either 65 or older, are immunocompromised or who work in a setting with a high risk of being exposed to the virus should get a booster.

Next in line will be the 5- to 11-year-olds. Emergency-use authorization of the vaccine for that age group is expected in the coming weeks. Dr. Gandhi shares many parents’ concerns, having an 11-year-old son herself. She says parents should expect very high safety profile for this vaccine because children are at less at risk for severe COVID.

Dr. Gandhi points out studies have shown a low dose and extending the duration between shots significantly reduces the chances of severe side effects.

“My recommendation — and I’ve already talked to my pediatrician and she’s planning on recommending it for her practice — is to give that 10-microgram dose. One now and one in eight weeks. I think that’s the safest way to give.”

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