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VERIFY: What we know about fully vaccinated people receiving booster doses of different COVID-19 vaccines

The leaders of a recently announced clinical trial say they want to find a way to make shots more malleable in case a certain variant becomes the most common virus.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recently announced a new clinical trial that involves fully-vaccinated adult volunteers getting booster doses of different COVID-19 vaccines.

This coincides with many questions people have sent the WFAA Verify team connected to getting different types of COVID-19 vaccine shots.

THE QUESTION

Can a person get vaccinated with a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster shot if they were previously fully vaccinated with another type of vaccine?

THE SOURCE

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THE ANSWER

While we can't yet verify if it's safe to get a booster vaccine of a different type than your original COVID-19 vaccine shot, that answer should become clearer later this summer after a clinical trial is complete. 

WHAT WE FOUND

The purpose of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study is to find out the best way to boost someone's immune system who has already been vaccinated—if it gets to the point where the COVID-19 vaccine starts to wear off.

"One, just to see if it's safe," Lyka said. "Two, to look at the immune response. Can we boost your immunity by giving you that delayed booster vaccination over and above what you have when you walk in the door to participate in this study?"

Both doctors say a key part of this study is to figure out if getting a different type of vaccine as a booster shot makes a difference in effectiveness, for better or for worse.

"The idea is to look and see whether it's OK to boost with a vaccine than what's different than what a person originally got," Atmar said. "It's looking at if a booster is needed, and if we decided to give one, is it safe. What are the reactions the people have after they get a booster and is it immunogenic? What are the antibody responses?"

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The study's leaders also say they want to find a way to make these shots more malleable in case a certain variant becomes the most common virus.

"An adaptive design such that we could potentially add additional booster vaccines, either made by other companies or containing a variant, at some point, in the future as those become available," Atmar said.

All trial participants will be followed for one year after receiving their last vaccination as part of the study. They will be asked to complete telephone check-ins and various in-person follow-up visits. Trial investigators will evaluate participants for safety and any side effects post-vaccination.

The study plans to have about 150 volunteers fully enrolled in the next couple weeks, and then have the enough blood samples and data needed by mid-to-late July for a more concrete report.

For more information about the trial, including a list of enrollment locations, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says to visit clinicaltrials.gov and search identifier NCT04889209.