Way back at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, when scientists were at the very early stages of cooking up a vaccine, I noticed that different labs were taking different technical approaches. Some vaccinologists were looking to other viruses to carry the payload for their shots, others were tinkering with proteins and still others were experimenting with mRNA. It may have been the paranoia of lockdown leaking into my thought process, but I remember wondering, “Can I just get one of each, please?”

Well, now that there are a variety of coronavirus vaccines authorized for use around the world, it turns out there might actually be something to my question. Rochester Institute of Technology biologist Maureen Ferran explains why studies are underway to see what effect mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines has on people’s immune responses. The one-of-these-and-one-of-those approach could help us inch closer to the end of the pandemic.

Also today:

Maggie Villiger

Senior Science + Technology Editor

One of this and one of that might be a good strategy to coronavirus vaccination. SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A mix-and-match approach to COVID-19 vaccines could provide logistical and immunological benefits

Maureen Ferran, Rochester Institute of Technology

Various companies use different ingredients and different delivery systems in their COVID-19 vaccines. Researchers are investigating whether it's better for individuals to mix what's available.

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