Although studies show positive results from the blending of AstraZeneca and Pfizer, there are still doubts.
Editor’s Note:COVID-19 Fact Check is a series where we talk to doctors and ask them burning questions about everything related to COVID-19 – from treatments to vaccines and diagnostics.
If Shakespeare were alive, he would say, “To get or not to get, it’s not an issue,” when he rushes people to vaccinate.
Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received Modern-vaccine as a second dose after inoculation with AstraZeneca-Oxford.
The German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) advisedthose who received AstraZeneca vaccine as the first shot to receive a second mRNA vaccine “regardless of age.”
The National Immunization Committee of Canada (NACI) recommended mixing vaccines and stated, “the mRNA vaccine is now the preferred second dose for individuals who have received the first dose of AstraZeneca / Covishield vaccine.”
The Spanish Bioethics Committee told people to get the mRNA vaccine after the first dose of AstraZeneca. However, they also said it taking a second dose is all important, even if it means a second dose of AstraZeneca.
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mixing of vaccines is not yet recommended.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidancenotes that ” COVID-19vaccines are not interchangeable“However, under mitigating circumstances, a person can get another vaccine.
So what brings us to mixing vaccines? Are there any negative side effects? Can we get two different types of vaccines in India?
Let’s find out.
Butter COVID-19 Are the vaccines available in India mixed?
There are two types of adenovirus and mRNA vaccines COVID-19 currently used images.
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are examples of adenovirus vaccines, while Pfzier and Moderna use mRNA. Sputnik V is also an adenovirus vaccine, but it consists of two different shots. Covaxin, in turn, is produced by an inactivated or dead virus.
These vaccines are completely different and “work differently, they are made differently, including the way they trigger the immune response, is different,” says Dr. Rohan Sequeira, a consultant in general medicine, Jaslok Hospital and Research Center.
This is a divisive factor for health professionals. Some are all for mixing vaccines, but others are not yet convinced.
Dr Kate O’Brien, Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Vaccine Unit, said Associated Press“” Based on the basic principles of vaccine operation, we believe that mixing and match programs work. “
Dr. Sunil Jain, Director of Emergency Medicine at Jaslok Hospital and Research Center, also recommends mixing COVID-19 vaccines.
However, Daniel Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London, has a different concern. He told Naturethat because the immune system produces a response against the adenovirus, repeated doses of virus-based vaccines may be reduced. On the other hand, mRNA vaccinations tend to cause more serious side effects when doses are increased. coronavirus a pandemic is the first time mRNA vaccines have been licensed no way to know what can happen if it is combined with an adenovirus vaccine.
Dr. Tushar Tayal, Department of Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurgaon, does not recommend changing vaccines as the Government of India recommends completing the vaccination course with the same vaccine.
Various studies on the mixing of vaccines
To understand the safety and efficacy of vaccine mixing, several studies are underway at different stages of completion. Because we know that these vaccines are safe for humans and effective against SARS-CoV-2, the researchers have taken the next step to find out if they work well with each other and require a stronger immune response.
Spanish CombivacS experiment: The trial involved more than 600 people who had received a single dose of AstraZeneca. Two-thirds of participants received Pfizer as a second dose. Preliminary resultsshowed that they developed 37 times more SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies and four times more SARS-CoV-2-specific immune cells than those who received a single dose of AstraZeneca.
Com-COV study: 830 volunteers, at least 50 years old, participated in the program Oxford-led study to find out if mixing their own vaccine with Pfizer would do produces a better immune response. They tried two variations of vaccination schedules – Pfizer followed by AstraZeneca and AstraZeneca followed by Pfizer. After four weeks, those vaccinated with Astrazeneca and Pfizer, every four weeks, produced a better immune response. They also expect results from a 12-week interval test.
Sputnik V: Vaccine developed by Russia Sputnik Vhas introduced a new version called Sputnik Light. It is intended to act as an booster and can presumably be combined with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Authorities have announced they are conducting a study on how effective the vaccines are in combination.
These studies show that yes, you can mix your vaccine. And while some countries accept it, India does not. However, there are murmurs that it is possible.
What is India saying?
Reports have shown that the center is investigating the effect of mixing samples of two different vaccines. Member of Niti Aayog VK Paul said, “Se [vaccine mixing] is credible. But there needs to be more research … Our experts are also constantly researching…Scientifically, there is no problem. “
There is a sure possibility mixing vaccines can either create stronger immunity or more antibodies, saidDr. Randeep Guleria, Head of AIIMS. “This has been looked at in the past – giving one vaccine as a starting image and another to make it more effective.”
“More information is needed … a large number of vaccines will be available in the future … So which combination is better is something we don’t know yet … but yes, preliminary studies suggest it may be an option,” he added.
Possible side effects of mixing vaccines
Mixing vaccines is not a new technology. The first combined vaccine was created and given in 1948 to treat individual diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP), and was originally used to vaccinate infants and children in 1948.
Although the above studies show that mixing doses is safe, there are always exceptions to the rule. Something we learned with AstraZeneca vaccine – thrombocytopenia.
Jain warns that mixing Pfizer and AstraZeneca could increase mild to moderate side effects. However, “these symptoms,” he says, “were short-lived – lasted no more than a few days – and there were no hospitalizations or other safety issues.”
Since reports of blood clots associated with AstraZeneca appeared, many countries have since banned it. People who received the first dose had no choice but to take the second vaccine.
“Mixing and matching allows vaccination to be completed while ensuring safety. The evidence suggested such by mixing ‘has a good safety profile’, “he added.
Sequeira also said he has not heard reports of patients having adverse effects.
He says that “it is possible that it actually creates a different kind of immune response.”
Maureen Ferran, Assistant Professor of Biology, Rochester Institute of Technology saidmixing and matching vaccines it could help accelerate global vaccination and end the pandemic faster. It can also “trigger a stronger, longer-lasting immune response … to better protect people from new variants.”