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Should you mix and match COVID-19 booster shots?

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Posted at 8:28 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-09 11:19:31-05

NOBLESVILLE — With the emergence of the new omicron variant, people have many questions surrounding the booster shots, including whether or not they should get it and which vaccine to get.

“We’ve been kind of a steady state between 300 and 400 people a day out here,” said Christian Walker, Hamilton County Health Department Public Health Preparedness Coordinator.

The Hamilton County Health Department's vaccine clinic is offering it all.

“We have pediatric Pfizer, adult Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson available at our site,” said Walker.

All three vaccine and booster options are for people 12 and up; the pediatric Pfizer vaccine is for kids ages 5-11.

“The CDC is recommending those 18 and over get a booster vaccine if they’re six months removed from Pfizer or Moderna first and second doses,” Walker said. “If they got a Johnson and Johnson dose, it’s only two months removed from their first vaccine. And then the thing is that you can mix and match.”

That means if you got Johnson & Johnson for your first vaccine, you can opt to get the Moderna or Pfizer booster shot this time.

“It’s proven safe and effective to mix-and-match,” he said. “Getting that booster is going to help raise your immunity back up to that high level of protection.”

“Once I started with Pfizer, I wanted to stick with the same one,” said Greg Ottinger. “It made sense to me. I wouldn’t be a fan of mixing and matching. That’s my personal opinion. I think if you start with one, you got to stay with that one.”

“I talked to my doctor about it and he said it’s the same vaccine," said Rita Bradley. "I had the first vaccine and then I got really sick and about nine months later I got the COVID. And it was nasty, and I almost died.”

After having COVID in September, Bradley got the Pfizer booster shot Wednesday.

“If I hadn’t had the Pfizer vaccine, I probably would’ve died because I had pneumonia,” Bradley said.

She says if she wasn’t vaccinated prior to getting COVID, she feels she wouldn’t be here right now. The added booster of protection, she feels, is necessary.

“I advise everybody to at least get the vaccine because that will help you stay alive.”