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Booster Shot, Mix & Match Vaccination and New Covid Variant: WHO Chief Scientist Explains


Among the more infectious Covid-19 mutants reported worldwide, scientists recommend a combination of vaccines that may provide longer immunity and protection against the mutant.

Soumya Swaminathan, World Health Organization Chief Scientist, says the Covid-19 vaccine combination seems to work well for the mutants. She states: “This concept of heterogeneous prime boost seems to work well. This allows countries to vaccinate people with one vaccine and now wait for the second vaccination to go away, but on another platform Vaccines may be available. “

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However, early data from the UK, Spain and Germany show that a “mix and match” regimen with two vaccines has more pain, fever and other minor effects compared to two doses of the same dose. She said it suggests that it causes some side effects. Bloomberg’s report said.

Swaminasan adds that the combination of so-called heterologous prime boosts appears to spur a stronger immune response and increase the levels of antibodies and white blood cells that kill virus-infected cells.

Meanwhile, countries have already begun testing vaccine combinations to speed up vaccination. Malaysia, for example, is considering a combination of AstraZeneca Plc and Pfizer-BioNTech shots, and the government is trying to speed up vaccination to achieve population-level vaccination by the end of the year, the Minister of Science and Technology Innovation said. Khairy Jamaluddin said.

Need a booster shot?

Some countries and pharmaceutical authorities are preparing Covid booster shots for viral variants. But health officials say it’s too early to determine if they are needed.

“We don’t have the information we need to recommend whether we need a booster,” says Swaminasan.

Pointing to the fact that science is still evolving, she said the call was premature, as many countries have not yet inoculated Covid-19.

Covid booster shots may be deployed in the UK to avoid another surge during the winter. Health Minister Matt Hancock previously said in the world’s first booster immunological study that seven different vaccines were being tested by British volunteers.

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Britain already inoculates most of its population more than any other economy. However, in the fear of the first delta variant detected in India, the removal of the Covid-19 restriction was postponed.

More contagious variants of Covid-19 require higher antibody levels to prevent infection. It urged vaccine makers, including Pfizer and Modana, to test whether a fine-tuned version of an existing shot provides broader immunity.

The report added that a single dose of Novabax mutant-directed vaccine may provide adequate protection against beta strains of individuals previously immunized against Covid-19.

Existing vaccines approved in the United States work well to protect Beta, Delta, and the other two strains that WHO has designated as mutant strains of concern.

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