Some Countries Opt to Mix and Match COVID Vaccines Amid Spikes

Amid surging COVID-19 cases, some countries around the globe have opted to mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccines instead of administering the same one.

Cambodia was one of the most recent countries to announce that it will administer different COVID-19 vaccines as a booster shot against the virus.

According to Reuters, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said during a recent speech that those who have already been vaccinated with the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac, "should be given AstraZeneca as the third booster dose."

"For Cambodians who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca, Sinovac should be given as the third dose," he added, according to Reuters.

In addition to Cambodia, several other countries have also decided to allow residents to mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccines, including Bahrain, Bhutan, Canada, Italy, South Korea, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Reuters reported that in June, Bhutan's Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said that he has "no problem" allowing residents to receive different vaccines.

"Knowing immunology, knowing how our body reacts to vaccines, I am comfortable to secure a second dose of any vaccine that is, of course, approved by the WHO," he said, according to Reuters.

Similar to Cambodia, the government of Bahrain is allowing residents to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, roughly six months after they already received two doses of a Chinese approved vaccine.

In a statement sent to the Associated Press, the Bahrain government said, "the people of Bahrain have a choice of vaccine when choosing their booster appointment six months after their original vaccinations."

In June, Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization announced that residents can safely receive either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines after initially receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In a statement, the Canadian government said, "Persons who received a first dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) should be offered the same mRNA vaccine for their second dose. If the same mRNA vaccine is not readily available or unknown, another mRNA vaccine can be considered interchangeable and should be offered to complete the vaccine series."

Health officials in Italy, South Korea,Thailand and Spain have also announced that residents can safely mix COVID-19 vaccines following the preliminary results from a Spanish study that found that receiving a mRNA vaccine after the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective.

Prior to the decision to mix-and-match vaccines in several different countries, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in January that its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices found that "In exceptional situations in which the mRNA vaccine product given for the first dose cannot be determined or is no longer available, any available mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be administered at a minimum interval of 28 days between doses to complete the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination series."

COVID-19 Vaccine
Several countries across the globe have decided to mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccines. Scott Olson/Getty