If I got Sputnik for my initial vaccine, should I get a booster? What kind?


A: Yes, you should get a booster! 💪 And it’s okay to get either Sputnik Light or a different vaccine. 👍 Both are safe and effective.

Broadly speaking, boosters have proved an important part of vaccination for COVID-19, and that’s no different if you got the Sputnik V vaccine.

As for what kind, you can get Sputnik Light, the approved booster for Sputnik—or you can get a different vaccine if that is available to you. The European Medicines Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control have endorsed all combinations of viral vector vaccines and mRNA vaccines. Mixing-and-matching COVID-19 vaccine brands is safe and effective.

The Sputnik V vaccine is a viral vector vaccine, like the vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. These vaccines all use a genetically modified version of a harmless virus to train your immune system to protect you against COVID-19. The two mRNA vaccines available at this time, made by Moderna and Pfizer, take a slightly different approach but the result is the same.

There are also whole inactivated viral vaccines on the market, such as Sinovac/Sinopharm.

Mixing across all these different vaccine types is supported by the EU agencies in part because of logistical concerns. Depending on where you are, the vaccine you originally got may no longer be available. Or perhaps you moved to a different place and can’t get another dose like your first one. Or perhaps you just wanted a different one in the first place and would prefer to go with that now. Whatever your reason, mixing is okay.

In fact, the EU health agencies said that there is likely a benefit to mixing different vaccine types. Due to small differences in the way the vaccines work at the molecular level, getting multiple vaccine types may actually produce better protection. Studies aren’t perfectly clear about this yet, but the evidence we have so far hints that mixing is better.

And there has been no safety issue at all with mixing vaccine types in the many countries that have taken this approach. 👍🏼

In short: get boosted, and get whichever vaccine is available to you! It is safe to mix them, and might even provide stronger immunity. So boost up!

European Commission: Five things to know about: Mixing and matching coronavirus vaccines

European Medicines Agency: EMA and ECDC recommendations on heterologous vaccination courses against COVID-19: ‘mix-and-match’ approach can be used for both initial courses and boosters

Science: Should you mix and match COVID-19 vaccines?

Some previous posts on this topic:

How do COVID-19 Viral Vector Vaccines Work?

Can I boost with an mRNA vaccine if I got Sinovac or Sinopharm originally?

What about vaccines being used in developing countries?

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