Possible combination of coronavirus vaccines

Britain will allow some people to be vaccinated, but in rare cases, with doses of different coronavirus vaccines, despite the lack of evidence of immunization offered by such a combination.

Contrary to the global strategy, the government of London has announced that citizens will be able to receive a combination of doses of different vaccines, for example if one of the vaccines is exhausted, according to the guidelines published on New Year’s Eve.

“If the same vaccine is not available or if it is unknown which product was given first, it makes sense to administer a dose of the locally available product to complete the vaccination,” the instructions state.

Mary Ramsay, head of vaccinations at the Ministry of Health’s executive body, Public Health England, said this would only happen in very rare cases and that the government did not recommend the combination of vaccines, which are required to be given in two doses and with several weeks difference between them.

“Every effort should be made to administer the same vaccine, but when this is not possible it is preferable to administer a second dose of another vaccine than none at all,” he said.

In Britain, 74,000 people have died from Covid-19 – the second-highest death toll in Europe – and health officials are fighting to vaccinate more people in an effort to bring the pandemic under control as fears of system saturation rise. health.

Earlier in the week, the government reopened campaign hospitals set up at the start of the pandemic as hospital wards were filled with Covid-19 patients.

Britain was one of the first to approve coronavirus vaccines and the first to grant emergency approval for the Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca / Oxford University vaccines last month.

Both of these vaccines are given in two doses several weeks apart but are not designed to be combined.

However, according to the announced instructions, although every effort is made to give the two doses of the same vaccine, if the patient is at “high immediate risk” or is considered “unlikely to do it again” he may be given two different vaccines. .

Britain provoked reactions a few weeks ago when it announced plans to delay the second dose of the vaccine to ensure that more people could enjoy the limited protection afforded by a single dose.

The director of the American Institute of Infectious Diseases and one of the most respected scientists in the United States, Anthony Fauci, said on Friday that he does not agree with the British approach to delay the second dose by up to 12 weeks.

“I do not agree with that. “We will continue to do what we do,” he told CNN.