A new vaccine trial combining the AstraZeneca/Oxford and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines has been announced by the U.K government recently. This will be the first instance of combining different vaccines in one testing. During the trial, the participants will be given one vaccine shot using one brand to be followed by another booster shot using another brand.
Two Different Vaccine Technologies, One Goal
As reported by City AM, the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been formulated using different technologies. However, they have the same goals and objectives. This will be the first time to combine two technologies in one testing.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine uses mRNA or genetic coding technology. It injects an instruction manual that instructs human cells to produce protein that is similar to that of the virus. Once your body detects the growth of a new protein, it will automatically develop an immune response.
On the other hand, the AstraZeneca vaccine is considered as a viral vector machine. It injects a virus which serves as a vector to create a different type of instruction manual which still yields the same effect of kickstarting the body's immune response.
According to British Scientiss, even though these use different technologies, they should be able to work together to better prove their efficacy.
Jonathan Van-Tam, a deputy chief medical officer responsible for the study says in an interview via ABC News that "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."
"This study will give us greater insight into how we can use vaccines to stay on top of this nasty disease", he adds.
Combining 2 COVID-19 Vaccines Minimize Immunity to One Kind of Vaccine
Although this is the first instance to make such testing for the coronavirus vaccines, combining two different kinds of vaccines is not entirely new.
Alternating vaccines will be a great way to avoid people developing immunity to one brand of vaccine. Since another vaccine uses a different kind of virus, it may warrant a new response with the body producing the same results but with maintained efficacy.
Matthew Snape, the chief investigator and an associate professor in pediatrics and vaccinology at the University of Oxford said in an interview via ABC News, "If we do show that these vaccines can be used interchangeably in the same schedule, this will greatly increase the flexibility of vaccine delivery, and could provide clues as to how to increase the breadth of protection against new virus strains."
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Written by Nikki D