S’pore Study Shows Getting A Different Brand mRNA Booster Shot Can Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Infection


If you know friends or relatives who have yet to have their booster shots, now’s the time to tell them to get it done.

Especially for the Pfizer-BioNTech folks, as a recent study has shown that those who received two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab had been linked to a lower chance of infection by COVID-19 if they received a Moderna booster shot.

The Golden Combo For Lowering the Risk of COVID-19 Infection: Pfizer-BioNTech, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna

Based on the Singapore study that was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association on February 11 (Friday), the study showed that those who followed up their two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot with a Moderna booster shot had a lower likelihood of infection.

The study sample consisting of more than 700,000 people revealed that those who had Pfizer-BioNTech as their primary vaccination shots had an incidence of confirmed infections at 227.9 million persons-days when they followed up with a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot, as compared to the 147.9 per million person-days for those who followed up with a Moderna booster shot.

Basically the smaller the number of million person-days, the lower the risk of infection the person has.

However, despite the study’s large sample size, researchers were not able to conclude if persons with Moderna primary vaccination shots had the same, lowered, or increased likelihood of severe infections if they received a Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot.

Having (any) Booster Is Better Than No Booster At All, Period

One thing’s for sure is that getting an mRNA booster shot regardless of their brand would be better at reducing infections and severe COVID-19 than getting none at all.

The study confirmed that:

  • Three jabs of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine gives 73 percent more protection than two jabs of Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Pfizer-Pfizer-Moderna gives 82 percent more protection than two jabs of Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Three jabs of Moderna gives 80 percent more protection than two jabs of Moderna
  • Moderna-Moderna-Pfizer gives 86 percent more protection than two jabs of Moderna

Knowing these results is even more significant given that the study was held during the emergence of the Omicron variant that reached Singapore’s shores last year in early December.

The study was done by several Singaporean researchers which includes Professor Wang Lin-Fa from Duke-NUS Medical School and was authored by Kelvin Tan, the director of the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) policy, research and evaluation division.

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Impacts of the Study On Future Policy-Making Decisions

According to TODAYonline, Associate Professor Alex Cook, one of the authors of the study, said that the study was done with the “express purpose” of informing policy decisions. One of the authors of the study includes Associate Professor, Benjamin Ong, who is part of the MOH’s expert committee on COVID-19 vaccination.

Currently, about 63 percent of Singapore’s population have gotten their booster jabs where those aged 18 and above were able to choose their brand of mRNA booster jab in comparison to those aged under 18 who are currently only eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech booster shot.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung also noted that it was possible that to live with COVID-19 as an endemic disease, Singaporeans may have to take annual booster jabs like a standard flu shot.

So for those who are still on the fence about getting your boosters, stop procrastinating and get them done now—whether it be for your health or the health of your loved ones, it’s better late than never.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Ong Ye Kung)