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Which COVID-19 booster shot combination provides the best protection? Here's what health experts say

“This is a situation where you can’t go wrong," said Dr. Linda Yancey with Memorial Hermann Hospital.

If you’re eligible to get a COVID-19 booster shot, health officials say it’s ok for you to pick any vaccine for your next dose.

The Food and Drug Administration authorized mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines after a panel endorsed the practice last week.

“The preliminary studies show there is the potential to get better protection if you mix and match these shots, which makes sense, because they each contain a slightly different sequence of mRNA. By having the broader sequence exposure, you should get broader protection,” said Dr. Linda Yancey with Memorial Hermann Hospital.

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Dr. Yancey says it's still unclear which of the three booster shots provides the best protection, but she does recommend mixing and matching.

"All you have to do is choose a different vaccine than the one you first got," she said.

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson’s booster shots are the exact same vaccine as the first doses. People who get the Moderna booster shot will receive a half dose.

Although the J&J vaccine has a slightly lower efficacy, doctors say all three booster shots provide strong added protection against COVID-19 and its variant.

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No matter which you choose, you can expect to feel under the weather for a day.

“This is a situation where you can’t go wrong. If you get a booster from the same company as the first one, you’re going to get a high level of protection. If you mix and match, you’re going to get a high level of protection,” said Yancey.

Right now, boosters are only available to certain high-risk groups at the six-month mark. The populations currently eligible for an additional vaccine dose include seniors over 65 years old, adults with underlying medical conditions, and people who risk exposure to the virus at work.

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