The UK on Thursday launched a study to assess the immune responses that arise when doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc are combined in a two-shot schedule.
The UK researchers behind the study said data on vaccinating people with the two different types of coronavirus vaccines could help understand whether shots can be introduced more flexibly around the world. The first data on immune responses are expected to be available in June.
The study looked at the immune responses of a starting dose of the Pfizer vaccine followed by a booster from AstraZeneca and vice versa at 4 and 12 week intervals.
Both the mRNA shot developed by Pfizer and Biontech and the adenovirus virus vector vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca are currently being launched in the UK, with a 12 week gap between doses of the same vaccine.
More vaccines are expected to be included in the study as they are approved and launched.
Recruitment for the study begins Thursday, with over 800 participants expected, the researchers said. That makes it much smaller than the clinical studies used to determine the effectiveness of the vaccines individually.
The study will not evaluate the overall effectiveness of the shot combinations, but the researchers will measure the antibody and T-cell responses and monitor for unexpected side effects.
Matthew Snape, an Oxford vaccinologist who leads the study, said initial results could influence vaccine use in the second half of the year.
“We are expected to see some results by June or so that will affect the use of booster doses in the general population,” he told reporters.
The aim of the study is to recruit people over 50 who may be at higher risk than younger people and who have not yet been vaccinated.
The AstraZeneca shot is also being tested in combination with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, and the UK drugmaker’s chief research officer said more studies should be done on the combination of vaccines.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)