Many in the United Kingdom now wonder if, after getting their first dose of Pfizer, Oxford, or Moderna vaccine, if they can mix it with another dose from a different maker.
In just over one month, the UK had given the three vaccine makers a go-signal to vaccinate millions of people across the nation. But the question, as indicated in the Science Focus, "What would happen if the second job comes from a different manufacturer than the first?" arises, if it is safe to mix COVID-19 vaccines.
To prompt a robust immune protection from disease, all three vaccines should be delivered in two parts, and need to get the second shot a couple of weeks after his first one.
According to the UK government, at that moment, it will guarantee people will get the same type of vaccine across both doses.
Say one is getting the Oxford vaccine as his initial dose, his second will be an Oxford injection, as well and not Pfizer or Moderna.
Possibility of Mixed Vaccines
There is a very small possibility, though, that vaccines may be mixed in selected instances. As Public Health England's health of immunizations Dr. Mary Ramsay said, on "extremely rare" circumstances, the same vaccine is unavailable, or, if there is no record of which shot an individual initially received, a different jab may be given for his second dose.
The health expert also said, every effort needs to be made to give patients the same vaccine, although where this is impossible, Dr. Ramsay said, it is better to administer a second dose of another vaccine than none at all.
At present, scientists don't have any reason to think a mix of vaccine doses from different makers would cause any harm.
To verify this, the UK's Vaccine Taskforce recently announced trials examining the COVID-19 vaccines' interchangeability.
Mixing Vaccines Can Still Produce Strong Immune Response
Even though no research has yet been published to validate it, it is quite possible that mixing vaccines can still produce a strong immune response, said University of Bristol virologist Dr. David Mattews.
This is not to say the vaccines are the same, and the Oxford adenoviral vaccine works differently from the other two, Moderna and Pfizer mRNA jabs.
Furthermore, while the Oxford vaccine stimulates some of the cells to duplicate genetic instructions, codes on the manner of creating COVID-19 'spikes,' the mRNA vaccines, rather than deliver such instructions directly to the cells.
Matthews added, the "bottom line of it is that all the approved vaccines are designed" to make the cells in the body to duplicate the spikes, mimicking how the coronavirus works.
They all trick the immune system into thinking it is infected with COVID-19, readying it for an actual occurrence. While their approaches differ, the result is the same, elaborated Matthews adding, from the perspective of a biologist, "there is no reason why you could not mix the two."
But still, the virologist continued explaining that it is not prohibited by the laws of physics that "there might be some biology at play" that they do not know about it.