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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients urged to get a second dose



CHARLOTTE Local Charlotte News — This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved booster shots for both J&J and Moderna.

While the boosters for Moderna, much like Pfizer, are only recommended for people who match certain criteria, the health officials are urging anyone who got a J&J shot more than two months ago to get a booster right away.

Dr. Katie Passaretti, the Chief Infectious Disease Specialist with Atrium Health, said research shows that mixing and matching the J&J and the other two is beneficial.

“When you get Johnson & Johnson and then one of the mRNA vaccines, that boosts up your antibody levels, your immune response, even more so than when you do J&J and J&J together,” said Passaretti.

“That is one situation where I would personally consider and talk to my patients, for the booster, get the different vaccine.”

The news from the CDC comes as the pandemic appears, for now at least, to be in retreat. The percent positive rate for the state of North Carolina is now below five percent.

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In Mecklenburg County, the percent positive rate on Wednesday fell below five percent for the first time since the summer. County leaders have said if the rate stays below five percent for 30 days they will drop the mask mandate.

Dr. David Priest with Novant Health says national models suggest cases will continue to drop through the spring.

“The issue always is, will a variant emerge where the immunity we’ve developed from vaccination or having had COVID is no longer effective against,” Priest said. “That’s always the wildcard in this. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

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