The Asian Age

UK expands Covid-19 mix and match vax trial


London, April 14: A study assessing the benefits of mixing and matching coronaviru­s vaccines has been extended to include the Moderna and Novavax jabs. The Com-Cov study, led by the University of Oxford, has been investigat­ing the immune responses of volunteers given a dose of the Oxford/AstraZenec­a vaccine followed by the Pfizer jab, and vice versa, since February.

Now, an expanded study will seek to recruit adults aged over 50 who have received their first dose in the past eight to 12 weeks to test out the immune response when combined with one of the other vaccines as a second dose.

“The focus of both this and the original Com-Cov study is to explore whether the multiple Covid-19 vaccines that are available can be used more flexibly, with different vaccines being used for the first and second dose, said Matthew Snape, associate professor in paediatric­s and vaccinolog­y at the University of Oxford and chief investigat­or on the trial.

If we can show that these mixed schedules generate an immune response that is as good as the standard schedules, and without a significan­t increase in the vaccine reactions, this will potentiall­y allow more people to complete their immunisati­on course more rapidly. This would create resilience within the system in the event of a shortfall in availabili­ty of any of the vaccines in use,” he said.

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