Skip to Main Content

Statement from Akiko Iwasaki, PhD

January 11, 2022

Recently, I was part of a team of researchers who, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic, tested plasma samples from participants in the Dominican Republic who had received two doses of the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine (an inactivated virus vaccine), plus an mRNA booster shot. We also tested plasma samples from volunteers in the United States who had received the primary series of an mRNA vaccine.

The purpose of our study was to understand whether CoronaVac in combination with the mRNA booster would produce antibodies to both the Delta and Omicron variants. Our findings, which are in preprint and in the process of being peer-reviewed, offer important information to the 48 countries where CoronaVac is approved for use regarding the efficacy of this vaccine against the most prevalent variants of COVID-19.

While my team’s role was limited to testing and analyzing laboratory samples, this study rigorously followed all ethical guidelines. Participants in the Dominican Republic voluntarily consented to receive the mRNA booster shot, and participants in both the Dominican Republic and the United States voluntarily consented to take part in this observational study. No vaccines were administered as part of the study. Any suggestions otherwise are false. Most important, the generous and voluntary participation of 101 individuals in the Dominican Republic allowed us to gather this clinical data and make a valuable contribution to our understanding of this vaccine. These scientific findings will benefit people in the Dominican Republic and people around the world.

Submitted by Liz Pantani on January 11, 2022