Which Booster Brand Should You Choose If You Got The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has made a huge impact on the trajectory of the pandemic. Not only have the vaccines been shown to protect against infection from the virus, but they may also decrease your chances of severe illness, hospitalization, and death if you do happen to contract it (via Mayo Clinic).

Regardless of whether you received the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or another brand of the COVID-19 vaccine, the vaccine's effectiveness begins to decrease over a period of time (via WebMD). Therefore, it is recommended that you receive a booster shot to maximize protection from the virus. According to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unvaccinated adults 18 and older were seven times more likely to require hospitalization than those who received both a vaccine and a booster shot.

While booster shots are recommended regardless of which vaccine brand you received, a new study is showing that it may be especially important for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get a booster for added protection. The question is: Which booster brand should you choose?

Which booster to get after the J&J vaccine

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that those who received just the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may not be as well protected as those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The study looked at over 80,000 urgent care and emergency room visits, as well as 25,000 hospitalizations across 10 states.

According to WebMD, researchers found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine plus a Pfizer or Moderna booster was 79% effective in preventing the need for urgent care or emergency room visits and was 78% effective in hospitalization prevention. However, two Johnson & Johnson shots were only 54% effective in preventing urgent care visits and 67% effective in preventing hospitalizations. The numbers decreased even further for those who received just one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with only a 24% effectiveness in preventing urgent care visits and 31% effectiveness in preventing hospitalization.

Given this new data, the CDC is recommending either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna booster shots for those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in order to maximize your protection against the virus (via WebMD).