Response to ACIP Recommendation for Heterologous Boosters
The Infectious Diseases Society of America supports the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice’s unanimous recommendation to allow “mix-and-match”—or heterologous—COVID-19 booster shots for at-risk populations.
While there are limited data on the best combination for long-term protection, current evidence supports the need for a booster in vulnerable populations, no matter which vaccine an individual initially received. For those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, data show that they will have a stronger immune response with a mRNA booster.
The decision to allow a mix-and-match approach means flexibility for patients and clinicians, which can improve vaccine access and equity. As FDA and CDC continue to track the data in real-time, it is expected that recommendations for who should be getting boosters may change to continue to reflect the best available information.
As the United States expands booster availability domestically, the nation’s commitment to global vaccine access must continue and improve. Ending the COVID-19 pandemic requires a global effort.
Heading into the winter months, infectious diseases experts urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Whether it is a first dose or a booster shot, vaccines help maximize protection against COVID-19 infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
Daniel P. McQuillen, MD, FIDSA – President, Infectious Diseases Society of America
The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) is a community of over 12,000 physicians, scientists, and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases. Its purpose is to improve the health of individuals, communities, and society by promoting excellence in patient care, education, research, public health, and prevention relating to infectious diseases. Learn more at https://www.idsociety.org/.