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Coronavirus: UK starts vaccine trials mixing AstraZeneca doses with Pfizer/BioNTech jab

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The UK has launched a new clinical study where participants will receive different COVID-19 vaccines for their first or second dose.

For example, they will receive the jab developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) on their first visit followed by Pfizer/BioNTech’s formulation as a booster.

Backed by £7mln of government funding, the study is to be run by the National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium across eight National Institute for Health Research sites.

The Department of Health and Social Care stressed that the UK is currently implementing a same-dose regimen in the national vaccine rollout and there are no current plans for this to change.

Those who have received either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccination as part of the UK-wide delivery plan will not be affected by this study.

“Given the inevitable challenges of immunising large numbers of the population against COVID-19 and potential global supply constraints, there are definite advantages to having data that could support a more flexible immunisation programme, if needed,” said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Senior Responsible Officer for the study.

“It is also even possible that by combining vaccines, the immune response could be enhanced giving even higher antibody levels that last longer; unless this is evaluated in a clinical trial we just won’t know.”

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