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What is known about the safety and efficacy of using different technologies for initial vaccination and subsequent booster shots?

This article was published on
June 8, 2021

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SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

SciLine reaches out to our network of scientific experts and poses commonly asked questions about newsworthy topics. Reporters can use these responses in news stories, with attribution to the expert.

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What our experts say

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Expert Comments: 

Dave O’Connor, PhD

Ultimately, we are unlikely to have much of a choice except to mix-and-match. Immunity to the vector backbone will make homologous boosting with adenovirus vaccines unlikely to work well. So those who initially receive the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccine will likely need to be boosted with an mRNA vaccine. Among the mRNA vaccines, it is unlikely that there would need to be vendor ‘lock in,’ such that someone who receives Moderna vaccines this year could only receive Moderna vaccines in the future. Since boosters, like mobile phones, are likely going to be continually improved for the foreseeable future, requiring the same vendor each year wouldbe like saying that someone who buys an Android phone would never be able toswitch to iOS in the future, or vice versa, as technologies improve.

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