Health officials discuss mixing and matching of boosters and vaccines

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:50 PM CDT
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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WAFF) - Vaccine boosters are now an option for many people here in the Tennessee Valley.

Those wanting the booster also have the choice to take a different brand from their original vaccine.

“It’s important for us to step back and realize that over 15,000 Alabamians have died as a result of covid-19,” said Dr. Karen Landers, Alabama Department of Public Health.

While the approval of all three COVID-19 vaccine boosters is a hot topic for many, several people continue to raise concerns about the safety of mixing different boosters and vaccines.

Based on the results of continued vaccine research, Dr. Landers recommended it in some cases.

“I do think it has allowed some latitude, I do think the data is good and also think that in some instances it helps because perhaps an instinct may only have one product that they can boost with that product,” said Dr. Landers.

Anyone age 65 years and older is currently eligible for a vaccine booster. Additionally, anyone age 18 and up who lives in long-term care settings, has underlying medical conditions or works in a high-risk environment qualifies for booster.

William Davidson received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine and is eligible for the booster, but he said he is not ready just yet.

“If it’s safe and it’s necessary, I would support it, but I haven’t gotten mine yet because I’m waiting to see how safe the booster is,” said Davidson.

Most importantly, Judy Smith with the Alabama Department of Public Health said the goal is to get more people vaccinated and reduce the spread of COVID.

“If you need a booster, sure go get the booster but, please encourage their folks to go get their primary series. We’ve had too many people to die in this state, in this nation, and even in these counties,” said Smith.

Currently, Smith said Marshall, DeKalb, and Jackson counties have less than 40 percent of people who are fully vaccinated.

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