Scientists from the United Kingdom have launched trials to establish the effectiveness of giving two vaccines different against covid-19 between the first and second doses, British authorities reported Thursday.
The goal, according to experts, is to have more flexibility in the immunization plan started on December 8 in the United Kingdom, given that the two doses are currently being administered with the same vaccine, with a maximum time between them of twelve weeks.
Despite everything, the minister responsible for the vaccination program, Nadhim Zahawi, has made it clear that there will be no change in the current supply of the preparations – Pfizer and AstraZeneca-.
The trial, called Com-Cov and which is in charge of the so-called National Consortium for Immunization Evaluation, has a contribution of 7 million pounds (7.7 million euros) from the Government.
The objective of this analysis, according to experts, is to help deal with eventual problems in the supply of vaccines.
The current recommendation of the Joint Committee on Vaccination (JCVI) establishes that whoever received one of the two vaccines in the first dose you should receive the same in the second.
More than 800 volunteers over 50 residents of England. Some will receive the preparation from Oxford / AstraZeneca followed by that from Pfizer / BioNTech and vice versa, with a period of time between the two of 12 weeks.
Zahawi told the BBC on Thursday that combining doses “is something that has been done” in the past with other vaccines, such as hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.
Oxford University researcher Matthew Snape told BBC Radio 4 that they are about “wildly exciting” essaysas they will provide vital information on vaccination plans in the UK and the world. Snape added that animal studies have shown “a better antibody response with a mix (of doses).”
According to some details of the disclosed trials, the volunteers will be carefully observed to check for side effects and they will have blood tests to establish how the immune system responds.
The trials will last approximately thirteen months, but the scientists hope to be able to communicate the preliminary results by next June.
The UK has already exceeded 10 million people who have received at least the first dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus, and hopes to vaccinate 15 million people (those who are in the most vulnerable groups) by this February 15.
The Government has decided to delay the second dose of the vaccine until twelve weeks after the first in order to maximize the number of people who have some immunity as soon as possible.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.