Health

Can you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?

Can you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines in two doses?

It’s probably safe and effective, but researchers are still collecting data to be sure.

Authorized COVID-19 outbreaks around the world are all designed to stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies to fight viruses, although their mode varies, said Dr. Kate O’Brien, director of the unit. World Health Organization vaccines.

“Based on the basic principles of how vaccines work, we think mix-and-match regimes should work,” he said.

Scientists at Oxford University in the UK are testing combinations of COVID-19 vaccines at two doses made by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech. Smaller trials are also underway in Spain and Germany.

“We really just need to get the evidence in each of these (vaccine) combinations,” O’Brien said.

So far, limited data suggests that an AstraZeneca shot followed by the Pfizer shot is safe and effective. The combination also seems to come with a slightly higher probability of temporary side effects such as pain and chills.

That could be because mixing and adapting different types of vaccines can often produce a stronger immune response, said Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick in the UK.

In some places, health officials already suggest mixing in selected circumstances.

After the AstraZeneca vaccine was linked to extremely rare blood clots, several European countries including Germany and France have advised people who get it as a first dose to get a Pfizer or Moderna shot as a second dose instead. On Thursday, Canada made the same recommendation.

Some places like Britain say people should aim to get the same vaccine for their second dose, if possible. If they have had AstraZeneca as their first shot, they are advised to get another vaccine only if they have a history of blood clots or other conditions that may put them at higher risk of clots.


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