In UK, Coronavirus vaccine shots of Pfizer from BioNTech and AstraZeneca from University of Oxford are now both available for the public.
This means, anyone in UK can now have access on two of the best (so far) vaccines in the world.
However, here’s the problem: there’s only limited number of vaccine shots that can be availed by a single person. To top it off, both of the vaccine products require people to get two shots within several weeks.
Don’t worry, though, as per the UK government. Patients can easily ‘mix and match’ the two vaccines, without worrying for a side-effect. Yup, they really said it.
Where to take a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you’re looking for a COVID-19 vaccine today, UK might be the best place to go. This country has so far approved two of the most effective vaccines available in the world.
But, just like any other countries, the dosage and availability of everyone to have vaccine can be a huge problem amid pandemic.
To solve this, Business Insider reported that the UK government is now advising every citizens to ‘mix and match’ both vaccines, for more effective and simply, easier way to prevent having COVID-19.
What is a ‘mix and match’ vaccine?
Mixing and matching vaccines is the newest advice of the government of UK in their citizens. According to a report from the latest UK advisory, if “the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, it is reasonable to offer one dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule.”
This means, if someone gets Pfizer as its COVID-19 shot. But, have not received the required shot weekly. He may take a shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, just in order to complete his vaccination period.
This is what they called as ‘mix and match.’
Is it safe?
Though the UK advisory could be the most convenient way to counter the virus, there are still no study that proves ‘mix and match’ shots are a good way to prevent the virus.
In fact, in the UK’s own announcement, they said that there are still no studies or evidence that this works.
Just like how Dr. Phyllis Tien, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco said on The New York Times, “We’re kind of in this Wild West.”
UK health department, however, stands in its belief.
“The idea is that you can maximize the strength of that immune response to protect people,” Kate Bingham, chair of the UK’s vaccine task force, said during a recent briefing.
She even added:
“Antibodies block the uptake of viruses into cells, and the cellular T-cells identify those cells that have been infected and take them out. You ideally want to have both.”
Unfortunately for John Moore, a vaccine expert at Cornell University, this is not acceptable practice until proven effective.
He even said that the government “seem to have abandoned science completely now and are just trying to guess their way out of a mess.”
What do you think?