Britain prepares to “mix and match” Covid vaccine enhancement plan

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Covid-19 vaccine update

According to high-level government data, the UK is preparing to become the first major country to strengthen its plan to manage a “mix and match” coronavirus vaccine.

Government insiders say that many Britons are expected to use a different vaccine from the first two injections of the third booster dose because it provides better Covid-19 protection.

A separate study conducted by the team behind the University of Oxford and the Zoe Covid app found that the protection against symptomatic infections provided by the BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines weakened four to six months after the second. Ministers hope Promote the autumn booster exercise dose.

Once the joint committee on vaccination and immunization, the advisory body, makes a recommendation, the government will make a final decision on its strengthening plan.

The British vaccination program has always been dominated by AstraZeneca. Compared with Pfizer, AstraZeneca has been found to be less effective against the coronavirus Delta variant infection.

However, some studies have shown that AstraZeneca produces longer lasting antibodies in humans than Pfizer and other injections that use mRNA technology.

JCVI has been preparing guidelines for the government’s booster program.

Members of JCVI met on Thursday to analyze data from the Cov-Boost trial at the University of Southampton. It studied the antibody response of people who initially received the vaccine from AstraZeneca or Pfizer, and later they received one of seven different vaccines as a third dose.

Previous research has shown the benefits of mixing and matching vaccines. A study published in June by the University of Oxford showed that compared with people who received two doses of AstraZeneca, those who received the first dose of AstraZeneca and then the second dose of Pfizer had a 9-fold increase in antibody levels.

Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, said that the combination of AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines “may provide better and longer-lasting protection if used together.”

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

A senior insider 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 for the first time. This is the best way to get as much protection as possible. Good combination.”

Another senior Whitehall official confirmed that the mixed dose is “how we will proceed with the fall booster program.”

In response to a request for comment, the Ministry of Health said: “Our independent regulatory agency, MHRA, has confirmed that AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines are safe and effective and can be used as a booster and third dose for immunosuppressed people.

“We continue to prepare for the fall booster program…. Any enhancement plans-including which vaccines may be recommended-will be based on the final recommendations of the independent joint vaccination and immunization committee.”

Israel is the country with the furthest enhancement plan and relies on Pfizer, which is mainly used for the initial vaccine dose. According to the third dose test data provided by the manufacturer, the United States may insist on providing the same vaccine.

But other countries mixed and matched doses for the first and second jabs. In Europe, some governments have approved mixed vaccines after they allowed people who had been vaccinated as the first dose to receive a different second dose due to concerns that a very rare side effect of AstraZeneca involved blood clotting.

Clive Dix, the former head of the British government’s vaccine working group, said that it is well known in the scientific community that “heterogeneous boost” is more effective in increasing people’s immune response than the first dose of an individual’s vaccine.

“Vaccinology has shown that… if you boost someone with a different vaccine structure, you tend to get a stronger response than if you give them the same vaccine again,” he added.

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