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UK Prepares for Mixed and Matched Covid Vaccine Booster Program

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COVID-19 vaccine update

The UK is gearing up to become the first country to administer a “mix and match” coronavirus vaccine for a booster program, according to government officials.

Many Britons are expected to get a different vaccine than the first two doses for a third booster on the grounds that it will provide better protection against Covid-19, a government insider said.

Ministers want to push ahead with a fall booster campaign after a separate study by the University of Oxford and the Zoe Covid app development team found that protection against symptomatic infections provided by BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines declined 4-6 months after the second round . dosage.

A final decision on the government’s booster plan will be made after recommendations by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, an advisory body.

The UK’s vaccine program, led by AstraZeneca, was found to be less effective against infection with the Delta strain of coronavirus compared to Pfizer.

However, some studies have suggested that AstraZeneca used mRNA technology to generate longer-lasting antibodies in people than Pfizer and other zaps.

JCVI is preparing government guidelines for booster programs.

First-time users of AstraZeneca get Pfizer, and Pfizer users get AstraZeneca. This is the best combination for maximum protection.

Members of JCVI gathered on Thursday to analyze the University of Southampton’s Cov-Boost exam data. Antibody responses were investigated when people who initially received AstraZeneca or Pfizer jabs received a third dose of one of seven different vaccines.

Previous studies have suggested there are benefits to mixing and matching vaccines. An Oxford University study published in June found that people who received one dose of AstraZeneca followed by two doses of Pfizer had a nine-fold increase in antibody levels compared to those who received two doses of AstraZeneca.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said the combination of AstraZeneca and the mRNA vaccine “can provide better and longer lasting protection when used together”.

Government officials said many people are expected to receive a booster vaccine different from that used in the first two doses.

A senior official from the Ministry of Health said, “We will give Pfizer to those who take AstraZeneca for the first time, and AstraZeneca to those who take Pfizer. This is the best combination for maximum protection.”

Another senior Whitehall official confirmed that mixed doses were “the way to do the fall booster program.”

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In response to the health ministry’s request for comment, “MHRA, an independent regulatory body, has confirmed that AstraZeneca and Pfizer’s vaccines are safe and effective as booster and third doses for immunosuppressed patients.

“We are continuing to prepare the fall booster program. . . All additional programs, including recommended vaccines, will be based on the final advice of an independent joint committee on vaccines and immunizations.”

Israel, the most distant country with a booster program, is reliant on Pfizer, which was primarily used for early vaccinations. The United States will likely continue to offer the same vaccine based on trial data on the third dose provided by the manufacturer.

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However, other countries have given mixed and matched doses for the first and second jab. In Europe, some governments have approved the mix out of concerns about the very rare side effects of AstraZeneca related to blood clotting, allowing people who have received the first dose to get another second dose.

Turkey and Thailand, where there were concerns about the effectiveness of the Sinobac Chinese vaccine, have suggested boosting doses of Pfizer for some.

Clive Dix, former head of the UK government’s Vaccine Task Force, said that “heterologous boosting” is more effective at boosting people’s immune responses than re-vaccinating them with the vaccine they originally received from the scientific community. said to be well known in

“The science of vaccines is . . . Boosting someone with a different vaccine composition tends to get a stronger response than giving the same vaccine again.”

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