European drug regulator backs mixing COVID-19 vaccines

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The European Union’s drug regulator has voiced its support for mixing different types of vaccines in initial vaccination and booster campaigns to fight the coronavirus.

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The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that using different types of vaccines together, known as heterogeneous immunization, could provide protection against COVID-19.

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The announcement comes as much of Europe is facing concerns about rising infection and hospitalization rates and the new Omron variant.

The EMA, along with the European Centers for Disease Control, said a mix-and-match strategy could give nations more options in vaccination campaigns as most of the continent seeks to contain the latest surge in the pandemic.

“The evidence available so far with a variety of authorized vaccines indicates that a heterogeneous booster appears to be as good or better in terms of immune responses than a home booster,” the agencies said in a statement.

“While research is ongoing to provide more evidence on long-term safety, duration of immunity and effectiveness, the use of heterogeneous schedules may provide flexibility in terms of vaccination options, particularly to reduce the impact on vaccine rollout.” A vaccine should not be available. For any reason,” he said.

The agencies looked at data from the Pfizer shot and so-called viral vector vaccines, such as the mRNA vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson. The two types of vaccines use different techniques to induce the body to fight the coronavirus.

US and UK officials have already approved mixing and matching of vaccines in booster campaigns.

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