Britain is set to allow different coronavirus vaccines to be mixed under special circumstances, despite limited knowledge on whether or not mixed doses provide the same amount of protection as standardized doses.
British government Issue updated instructions On New Year’s Eve, it states: “(If) the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, it is reasonable to offer a single dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule.”
Mary Ramsay, head of the immunization department at Public Health England, explained that different doses of the Coronavirus vaccine will only be given in very rare cases, Reuters reported.
She said: “Every effort must be made to give them the same vaccine, but if this is not possible, it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine rather than not at all.”
Britain became the first to introduce an emergency license for both Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca in December. Both vaccines require two doses several weeks apart, however, there has been no innovation to combine them together, Reuters reported.
According to guidelines issued by Britain, there is still no “evidence of the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines, although studies are ongoing”.
The British government also raised concern earlier this month when it announced that it would delay giving the second doses of the Coronavirus vaccine for 12 weeks to those who received the first shot in order to provide the initial shot, which provides limited protection from the virus, more people, according to Reuters.
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“I will not endorse that,” He told CNN. “We will continue to do what we do.”