A UK trial has been introduced to see if giving individuals various Covid vaccines for their first and 2nd dosages works in addition to the existing technique of using the very same type of vaccine twice.
The idea is to offer more versatility with vaccine rollout and assistance handle any prospective disturbance to supplies.
And researchers say it is possible the brand-new method might even offer better defense than providing the exact same jabs.
For those not participating in the trial, the present routine stays unchanged.
Authorities say anybody currently provided the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the UK’s approved immunisation programme will receive their second dosage of the same vaccine from the very same location over the anticipated 12-week interval.
However scientists have excellent reason to think the brand-new blending technique being trialled may show useful – some Ebola immunisation programs include blending various jabs to improve protection, for example.
The Com-Cov study, run by the National Immunisation Schedule Assessment Consortium, will involve more than 800 volunteers over the age of 50 in England.
Some will receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab followed by the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or vice versa – 4 or 12 weeks apart.
Other vaccines may be included as they are approved by regulators.
Scientists will keep track of volunteers for side-effects and keep a close eye on blood tests to see how well their immune systems respond.
And although the full study will continue for 13 months, the researchers are enthusiastic of being able to reveal some preliminary findings by this June.
The research study will also supply information on:
And researchers state these might inform the kind of vaccines some more youthful adults are offered as their second dosages – as the vaccination rolls out to these age groups later in the year.
Prof Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, stated: “Offered the inevitable difficulties of immunising great deals of the population against Covid-19 and prospective worldwide supply restrictions, there are definite advantages to having information that could support a more flexible immunisation programme, if needed and if authorized by the medicines regulator.
” It is likewise even possible that by combining vaccines, the immune response might be boosted giving even greater antibody levels that last longer.
” Unless this is assessed in a medical trial, we just won’t know.”
Any modifications to the UK’s present method would require approval from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
The chief investigator, Prof Matthew Snape from the University of Oxford, said the “greatly exciting research study” would provide info crucial to the rollout of vaccines in the UK and globally.
“We get in touch with those aged 50 years and above who have not yet gotten a Covid-19 vaccine to visit our website to learn more about the research study and see if there is a research study website near them,” he said.
The research study will be recruiting for the next two to three weeks and involve sites in: