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Coronavirus vaccine : Is 'mix and match' of COVID vaccines effective?

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Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Jun 18, 2021

Coronavirus vaccine Is mix and match of COVID vaccines effective
Reviewed by Expert panel

 

Everything about Mix And Match Covid Vaccine

As the second wave of covid 19 is ravaging the country, what we face recently is the acute shortage of covid vaccines. Those who managed to get their first vaccine doses are worried about getting the second shot within the time window. Here comes the importance of seeking the possibility of mixing and matching covid vaccines. Many countries have already allowed combining vaccines to ensure optimal protection of their people. 

However, many doubts like "Is it safe to take shots of two different Covid vaccines?", "Are mixed vaccinations as effective as the same vaccination?" should be cleared. This article helps to shed some light on this topic

What Is Mix And Match Covid Vaccine?

Except for Johnson & Johnson, all approved vaccinations necessitate two doses. While the first dose empowers the immune system to identify the virus, the second dose increases detection power and response of the immune system towards the virus.

Mix and match vaccines means taking the first shot of a particular vaccine, you follow up with a second dose of a different vaccine. Second doses are important for more long-term protection.

Is Mix And Matching Covid Vaccine Safe And Effective?

Mixing and matching vaccines have been done before as well. Examples are the polio vaccine and hepatitis vaccines. Now coming to the safety of mix and matching covid vaccine, some countries have already allowed such 'mix-and-match' vaccinations.

Do you know Russia's Sputnik V is a 'combination' vaccine by design? The first dose uses a harmless common cold adenovirus -AD26-. Its purpose is to convey genetic instructions for cells to produce the corona virus's spike proteins. The second dose comes with a different adenovirus - AD5. This is to avoid being attacked by the immune system that by now recognizes AD26. Another important point to mention here is the efficiency rate of Sputnik V is 91.6%. 

Many vaccine experts around the world support this. Many researchers around the world have been studying the effects of mixing COVID vaccine doses. According to a source ,

  • A study in Spain, led by the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, found in its preliminary trial that vaccinating people with both Oxford–AstraZeneca and Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 could produce a potent immune response.

  • A UK study called Com-COV found that people in the mix-and-match groups had mild to moderate common vaccine-related side effects than those who received two doses of the same vaccine. On the other hand, in some trials, it is found that some combinations, like AstraZeneca with Pfizer vaccines, lead to an increase in side effects in some people.

  • Due to concerns of rare blood clots, countries like Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccination in small age groups. Here, mixing and matching vaccination could guarantee more safety and helps to complete the vaccination process.

Advantages Of Mixing And Matching Covid Vaccine

By combining vaccines produced by various technologies our immune system may get stimulated so much that it could be able to develop a wider response to the virus. For example, let us assume a viral vector vaccine is followed by an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer's.

Both the vaccines aim at the same target protein (the spike protein). However, both vaccines present it to the immune system in different ways. This could potentially generate a broader immune response. This means mix and match vaccines could potentially provide wider protection against certain mutations or variants of covid.

Indian Govt Stand On Mix And Match Covid Vaccine

India plans to conduct trials to see if people can be immunized using a "mix and match" of different Covid-19 vaccines. India presently utilizes Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V for immunization. And, our trials are in the preliminary stage. 

As individually, these vaccines have proven to be safe, theoretically there should be no safety concern. Even so, the Indian government has said that it would not modify its vaccine protocol unless mix and match vaccines are scientifically supported. Several studies are underway, and if the trials are successful, you will not need to postpone your second dosage just because a specific vaccine is not available.

What makes India Unique In The Field Of Mix And Match Covid Vaccine?

It is anticipated that by December 2021, seven or eight types of Covid-19 vaccines can be produced using a variety of technologies. Using different technologies like viral vector, mRNA, DNA, and recombinant protein allows India to test combinations that have never been tried before. 

Most of these forthcoming vaccines are projected to be less expensive and easier to produce in bulk. Therefore, coming up with successful combinations of such vaccines could also be beneficial for low-and middle-income countries finding it hard to get sufficient supplies for standard vaccinations.

Countries That Allow Mixing

  • The UK already allows combining vaccines in 'exceptional situations'. 

  • In Europe, safety concerns surrounding Covishield prompted Germany and France to recommend younger people who've received Covishield first get an mRNA second dose.

  • The National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) of Canada has revised its guidelines to permit the mixing and matching of COVID-19 vaccinations. 

The NACI recommendation is based on early studies from the United Kingdom and Spain, which found that mix and match vaccination of Astra Zeneca and Pfizer is both safe and effective to prevent Covid-19. 

Covid Vaccine For Kids- India: Current Status

Clinical studies in various age groups of children have begun in several countries. Several nations like Canada, have begun immunizing youngsters aged 12 to 18, while many others are still in the experimental phase of allowing covid shots for youngsters. 

In India, Bharat Biotech has begun clinical trials of their COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, in children aged 12 to 18 years old. The trials were started in AIIMS Delhi and Patna by taking 525 fit and healthy children as samples. Recently, AIIMS Delhi also started enrollment for clinical trials for children who are in the age group of 6-12 years. Once this trial is completed, the clinical trials of children of the 2-6 age groups will begin. 

News Up-To-The-Minute:

According to News 18, The Serum Institute of India (SII) is looking forward to launching Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covovax' in India by September. Novavax in a statement on June 14, 2021, stated that the efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity of the vaccine are evaluated and its trials are in an advanced stage of completion. 

Let's hope that by the end of this year people of all age groups can be vaccinated. 

 

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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