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If you got the J&J vaccine, switch to Moderna or Pfizer for booster :: WRAL.com

If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, new research shows that you are better off by changing the brand of your booster.

The Duke study comes a month after the CDC recommended the two mRNA vaccines over the J&J shot.

Nearly half a million people in North Carolina have been vaccinated with single-dose J&J shots.

But new research from Duke University shows that J&J recipients who mix their vaccines - and get boosted with Pfizer or Moderna instead of another J&J shot - have 10 times the level of antibodies to omicron.

"We expect that the boost with the J&J vaccine will still be very effective. Probably not as effective as the boost with the mRNA vaccine," said Dr. David Montefiori of the Duke Human Vaccine Institute.

Montefiori investigates the effect of COVID variants on antibody levels. With omicron, he says a booster is essential for all three vaccines.

"The levels of these antibodies we see after two doses of a vaccine or a single dose of J&J are very, very low, and most people do not have the neutralizing antibodies to omicron after the primary series of vaccinations," he said.

But after a boost, the study shows a potential 20-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies.

"In my opinion, being fully vaccinated now with Omicron means you've been boosted," he said.

Montefiori says the current vaccines are still extremely effective in keeping people out of the hospital. But research needs to continue for every new variant that emerges.

"We are approaching the point where if a variant that is worse than omicron occurs - in terms of its ability to escape the vaccines - it may be time to adjust the vaccines, to modify the vaccines to counteract the new variant. we are not there yet, "he said.

Only 45% of those vaccinated in North Carolina have returned to their booster shots. Those who received J&J should be boosted two months after their first vaccination. Those vaccinated with Moderna or Pfizer should be boosted after 5 months.

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