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FDA approves mixing of COVID-19 booster shots: Here's how it works

The FDA recently approved the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots. An infectious disease expert at UMPC talks about how it all works.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Hospital systems like UPMC are already offering COVID-19 booster shots. UPMC is scheduling appointments for both the Moderna and Pfizer boosters.

"You get a booster shot to boost your immunity and make it last for a longer period of time and restore the protection both against mild breakthrough infections and against more severe disease and hospitalization," said Dr. John Goldman, UPMC infectious disease expert.

There are a few requirements to receive a booster. Booster shots are available to folks that are immunocompromised. If you aren't immunocompromised, there are still some other ways you may be eligible.

"People who are above the age of 65. People who are between 18 and 65 with an underlying condition or people 18 through 65 who are at high risk of getting the disease," said Dr. Goldman.

The FDA recently approved the mixing and matching of booster shots. For example, if you received the first two doses of the Moderna vaccine, you will be able to safely get the Pfizer booster vaccine as your third dose.

"The theory is by getting another shot of a different vaccine, then you will get a more broad immune response. Unfortunately, there is very little data on if that is true," said Dr. Goldman.

Dr. John Goldman is an infectious disease expert at UPMC. According to him, COVID booster shots may become a yearly or routine procedure.

"Much as we like to get a flu shot every year, because the immunity from the flu vaccine wanes and because the flu virus changes a little bit from year to year, I think this is the first series of boosters that we will get on some regular basis."

Anyone who would like more information regarding booster shots, or CLICK HERE if you would like to schedule an appointment for one through UPMC.