Initial results looked at neutralizing antibodies, which are specific antibodies that stop the virus and protect you from disease. All booster vaccinations stimulated a neutralizing antibody response, but there were differences. Those who received the Moderna vaccine for their first two doses and Moderna as a booster had the highest levels of antibodies. Second place went to people who received two doses of Pfizer, followed by Moderna.
It is important to note, however, that the small study groups were not designed to compare the best dose, and the early studies used a full dose (100 micrograms) of Moderna rather than the approved half dose. It is possible that differences in the subjects led to the different results. And while the difference in antibody levels sounds impressive, it probably isn’t that telling when it comes to protecting yourself in the real world.
The greatest differences in antibody levels were found in Johnson & Johnson recipients who were tested according to the J. & J. Booster, but had a 76-fold increase after the Moderna booster and a 35-fold increase after a Pfizer booster.
Does that mean if I had Johnson & Johnson, should I definitely switch to Moderna or Pfizer?
Not necessarily. For J. & J. Another study should be considered for recipients who would originally have received a single dose. This comprised 30,000 people and dealt with general protection against the coronavirus. This study found that a second dose of J. & J., At least two months after the first, resulted in 94 percent protection from mild to severe cases of Covid-19.
The fascinating thing about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it appears to trigger a different part of the immune system and stimulate not only neutralizing antibodies but T cells as well, potentially leading to more permanent protection. The NIH study will eventually look at T cell response after the various booster-shot combinations, but the data are not yet available.
So how am I going to decide which one to choose?
All booster vaccinations stimulate the immune system, so the answer as to which vaccination you should get depends on your priorities and your personal risk. Here are some examples to help you decide.
Talk to your doctor: Depending on your personal health conditions – whether you have health problems, are prone to blood clots, have heart problems, or have had cancer treatment – your doctor may have an opinion on which syringe is best for you. For example, different vaccines have different possible side effects.