British researchers investigated whether the vaccine mix was an effective way to protect individuals against COVID-19, but found that taking one dose of Pfizer and then a second dose of Moderna nine weeks later actually produced a better immune system response than just two doses of Pfizer.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, looked at the immune system responses of 1,070 subjects who received a combination of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, Novavax and Moderna vaccines.
People who took AstraZeneca followed by Moderna or Novavax also produced higher antibodies and T cell responses than those who took two doses of AstraZeneca.
One dose of Pfizer followed by Novavax produced better results than two doses of AstraZeneca, but a weaker immune system response than two doses of Pfizer.
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“It is encouraging that all of these programs generated higher antibody concentrations than the approved and effective Oxford-AstraZeneca two-dose program,” Professor Matthew Snape, associate professor of vaccinology at Oxford and chief investigator of the trial.
“With regard to cellular immunity, having a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine followed by one of the other vaccines under study generates a particularly robust response. “
According to current CDC recommendations, Americans can mix and match vaccines during their booster shots.
European Union health officials approved the mix and match on Tuesday, saying the mix could “induce a wider range of immune responses.”
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Mixing vaccines could be a vital tool in poorer countries struggling to get vaccines.
According to the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data project, only 6.3% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.