Switching COVID-19 vaccines between doses: local health experts weigh-in

Local News

CHIPPEWA VALLEY, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Could switching which COVID-19 vaccine you get add more protection against the coronavirus?

First News at Nine’s Maria Blough shares what health professionals in the Chippewa Valley are saying.

Though there’s evidence mixing vaccines can help the body fight disease, Lieske Giese with the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said getting different vaccines is not recommended at this time for the coronavirus.

“Different kinds of vaccines might prepare your body slightly differently, but at this point COVID-19 vaccines and the guidance from CDC and the state is to not mix vaccines and it’s important to follow that guidance,” Giese said.

Research shows the three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. offer strong protection against the coronavirus.

Dr. Ken Johnson with Prevea Health said it’s best to stay with what we know works.

“We may do that but just not enough information yet, and we know the current way is very effective, so we don’t want to tell people to gamble on a strategy we don’t fully understand when we know the current strategy works,” Johnson said.

In other countries, like France and Germany, health agencies are recommending some people switch vaccines between their first and second vaccine doses.

Johnson said that’s not because it adds more protection against the coronavirus.

“They changed the indications for the Astra Zeneca vaccine to only being used for people over the age of 60, so they had a lot of people between 18 and 60 who got a first dose and now the second dose was not recommended,” Johnson said.

Another reason other places may change vaccines: vaccine shortages.

Here in the U.S. where there is not currently a shortage, health professionals said it’s currently best to stay with the same vaccine.

In Eau Claire, Maria Blough First News at Nine.

If a booster shot is recommended, experts say they’ll likely recommend you get the same vaccine type you received originally.

Today was also the final Eau Claire City-County Health Department weekly briefing.

Moving forward, press conferences will only be held as needed.

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