Can you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?

Can you mix and match two-dose COVID-19 vaccines? (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Can you mix and match two-dose COVID-19 vaccines?

It's likely safe and effective, but researchers are still gathering data to be sure.

The authorized COVID-19 shots around the world are all designed to stimulate your immune system to produce virus-fighting antibodies, though the way they do so varies, noted Dr. Kate O'Brien, director of the World Health Organization's vaccine unit.

"Based on the basic principles of how vaccines work, we do think that the mix-and-match regimens are going to work," she said.

Scientists at Oxford University in the United Kingdom are testing combinations of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer-BioNTech. Smaller trials are also ongoing 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 an AstraZeneca shot followed by the Pfizer shot is safe and effective.