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LEX 18 In-Depth: Can you mix & match your COVID vaccine?

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Aug 23, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Researchers say recent studies show mixing different brands of COVID-19 vaccines may provide stronger protection, but local health experts are not yet recommending it.

The research mainly comes from Europe where the practice of mixing vaccines has become more popular. One such study called Com-Cov compared mixing the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

But Dr. Jai Gilliam with Baptist Health says Americans should take this information with a degree of caution because the research is still in the early phases.

"The studies that are coming out of Europe, which they looked at AstraZeneca, and pairing up with Pfizer did show a robust immune response. We call that hetero (Heterologous Prime Immunity Boosting) because boosting immunity, and that is been shown to be effective. But that is under more investigation is still not evidence-based and still needs to be researched upon," said Gilliam.

Conversations are happening on social media as the delta variant continues to cause concern. However, health leaders are not recommending vaccine mixing for Americans.

"There is evidence showing that there could be some benefit, but just because there could be some benefit doesn't mean necessarily it's beneficial in the long run," explained Gilliam.

Gilliam says a lot of people are trying a lot of different things to try to protect themselves, but it's important to listen to local experts.

"A lot of people are reaching for different medications ivermectin, hydroxy Chloroquine. Those things are not FDA recommended," said Gilliam.

He says what's most important is getting vaccinated, no matter which shot you choose.

"The chapter of this pandemic is now the pandemic of the unvaccinated. Ninety-eight, Ninety-six percent of hospitalizations in the ICU, are people that are not vaccinated," said Gilliam.