Answering your questions: If I need a COVID-19 booster shot - which one will I get?

Posted at 8:45 AM, Apr 20, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — We're working to answer the questions that you send us about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. We took some questions that were sent to us to Dr. Thomas Russo from UB's Jacobs School of Medicine. Here are some of the answers to your questions:

If I'm vaccinated and it becomes necessary to get a booster shot - will I have to get the booster shot from the same company that made my initial vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson and Johnson?)

Dr. Russo: To be clear, it's uncertain at this point if and when we may need a booster shot. If we do need a booster shot, there are some ongoing studies about mixing and matching vaccines. Probably vaccines of the same platform - like the mRNA vaccine - would be okay to mix and match, but data addressing that would be nice, and is not quite available at this time.

Why am I hearing that people who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 are testing positive for the virus?

Dr. Russo: It's critically important for people to realize that once they're vaccinated they have zero protection for the first two weeks. And they won't have optimal protection until two weeks after their last shot. So it's very important even though you've been vaccinated - to be rigorous about public health measures while you're in the process of building up that optimal immune response.

When do we think children will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?

Dr. Russo: Pfizer has applied for authorization for children 12-15. Their data looks great, it's currently being reviewed by the FDA, and hopefully we'll have some word on that in the near future on whether that age group will be eligible. For children under 12, studies are ongoing. That data is not yet available. Obviously we hope that data will look equally good as it has for everyone else. But I don't anticipate approval and starting to vaccinate that younger age group until a later time - perhaps at the earliest - sometime in mid or late fall. Some people have anticipated it might not be until the start of 2022.