Is it OK to combine and match completely different vaccines? Your COVID-19 questions answered

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We’re answering your questions in regards to the pandemic. Ship yours to COVID@cbc.ca, and we’ll reply as many as we will. We publish a collection of solutions on-line and likewise put some inquiries to the specialists throughout The Nationwide and on CBC Information Community. To this point, we have obtained greater than 71,000 emails from all corners of the nation.

Does your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be the identical model as your first?

Well being officers do not suggest having differing kinds of COVID-19 vaccines on your two pictures, however medical doctors say a singular medical trial in the UK may inform a extra versatile rollout in Canada.

Folks like Joseph Frisina of Montreal are asking CBC Information in regards to the pluses and minuses of receiving a primary dose of 1 vaccine and a distinct model for the second shot.

Frisina mentioned he obtained his first dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in Quebec and plans to be within the U.S. when time comes for his second, the place he’ll doubtless be supplied Pfizer-BioNTech. He needs to know if it could possibly be dangerous.

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Dr. Lisa Barrett, an infectious ailments doctor and researcher at Dalhousie College in Halifax, mentioned she does not see any cause to be frightened about security.

WATCH | Does it matter in case your first vaccine dose is similar model as your second?:

A brand new trial is wanting into the potential of getting various kinds of COVID-19 vaccines for every dose and what it may imply for the struggle in opposition to COVID-19. 2:03

Barrett likens the primary shot of the two-dose coronavirus vaccines to giving your immune system an elementary faculty schooling. The second dose broadens the response to a college stage.

“What your first shot does is it sends up a battle cry, if you will, to your immune system to rally those specific troops together to get an immune response that’s good to this particular part of COVID vaccine and then it adds some memory,” Barrett mentioned.

“The quality of the immune response after one shot is generally OK, but still not highly sophisticated.”

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That is why federal, provincial and territorial well being officers all suggest that folks be absolutely immunized to guard in opposition to COVID-19.

What’s guiding mix-and-match choices?

Barrett mentioned she is wanting ahead to when outcomes from a trial on the College of Oxford make clear mix-and-match vaccinations.

In contrast to typical medical trials evaluating a vaccine to a dummy shot, the 800 volunteers aged 50 and over in England will both be given:

  • A Pfizer “prime” dose adopted by a “booster” from AstraZeneca.
  • AstraZeneca adopted by Pfizer.
  • The usual strategy of receiving the identical vaccine twice as a comparability.

“There are definite advantages to having data that could support a more flexible immunization program, if needed and if approved by the medicines regulator,” mentioned Jonathan Van-Tam, the U.Ok.’s deputy chief medical officer, in asserting the 13-month examine in February. 

If medical trials assist mixing and matching doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, medical doctors say it may assist in containing the pandemic quicker. (Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters)

Members can even be administered their first and second doses both 4 or 12 weeks aside to see what works greatest.

“With that knowledge, we can have complete confidence that a number of different vaccines can be rolled out and implemented in a population very quickly, very efficiently, without any concern about inadvertent mixing of the combination,” Prof. Paul Heath, director of the Vaccine Institute at St. George’s, College of London, instructed CBS Information.

What’s extra, Heath mentioned, if mixing vaccines succeeds, it may set off higher safety in opposition to extra contagious variants of concern. 

The makers of mRNA vaccines are already tweaking their vaccines in face of the B1351 variant first recognized in South Africa. 

Some vaccinologists suspect that getting a distinct kind of COVID-19 vaccine for the second dose may stimulate immune cells to concentrate on the fitting goal to deal with variants of concern.