Scientists in WHO has said that they do not have adequate data on combining vaccines from different manufacturers. So the individuals should not take their own decisions but consult health authorities. Surprisingly some studies have shown positive results from mixing vaccines, but these are still in the trial stage and need more study to confirm the same. This technique of mixing vaccines is adopted in some countries where there is a shortage in the supply of vaccines. Doctor Kate O’Brien, director of WHO unit, has said, “According to the principle of how vaccines work, we think that mix-and-match regimens are going to work”.
Do Not Mix COVID Vaccines WHO Warns People
But in no situation, individuals themselves should not come to the decision of going with mixed vaccines. The guidelines and official confirmation from health authorities must be followed. Talking about the same, Soumya Swaminathan told “Chaotic situation will arise everywhere if when and who will be taking the second dose. Individuals should not decide but wait for data from different studies.
A clinical trial performed at the University of Oxford is ongoing in which a mix of Pfizer and AstraZeneca is performed. The study is also being expanded to include Moderna Inc and Novavax Inc vaccines. Advisory experts at WHO have said that Pfizer Inc could be used as a second dose after the first dose of AstraZeneca.
Many countries like Canada, Spain, and South Korea have already approved this different dose of vaccination-mixing because of fatal blood clots linked to AstraZeneca medicine. This combination has also proved to be bringing lesser side effects like aches and chills. Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, has reportedly said that the mixing of vaccines generally produces a stronger immune system.
In countries like Britain and Canada, officials say people should first try to aim to get the same vaccine for their second dose if possible. If they have taken AstraZeneca as the first shot, they are advised to get the next vaccine only if they have a health history of blood clots and other conditions.
Many believe that if vaccination mixing is effective, it will bring much-needed flexibility to vaccination programs around the world. Also, the most obvious benefit would be treating any brand and kind of Covid-19 as interchangeable, making people worry less about getting jabbed. This will also fasten the vaccination roll-out around the world.
The Covid vaccines currently legalized in the US stimulates the immune system in generating antibodies to protect us from all variants of Coronavirus. B lymphocytes, also known as B-cells, create antibodies in our body that fight against any infection. Different vaccinations activate different aspects of the immune system.
Is this Mix-and-Match being tested?
The University of Oxford has been running a trial called Com-Cov2. This is testing various combinations of vaccines that are expected to be approved in the coming weeks. Suppose more vaccines other than Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, and Moderna are approved.
In that case, they will also be approved over the coming months. Doctor Mathew Snape said that experiments in mice in which a combination of Pfizer and AstraZeneca were tested, in fact, boosted the immunity of mice. This has to be tested on humans to collect accurate data. Though for now, it is too soon to tell whether this vaccination mixing is effective, everyone around the world closely awaits the possible outcomes of these trials.
Currently, what is allowed?
For now, The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has allowed the mixing of mRNA-based Pfizer and Moderna shots only in situations such as limited vaccination supply or rare cases wherein individuals are not aware which vaccination shot they have received previously. Canada’s public health agency recently authorized that if a limited supply prevents a person from getting the second dose of the same vaccine, they can take a different brand of vaccine.
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