(Bloomberg) -- European Union regulators endorsed mixing two different Covid-19 shots for initial vaccine schedules and boosters, saying hybrid approaches can increase governments’ flexibility in responding to the new omicron variant.
Combining viral vector vaccines like AstraZeneca Plc with mRNA jabs such as Pfizer Inc. generates a good level of antibodies against Covid-19 and a higher T-cell response, another part of a person’s immune defense, compared to giving doses of the same shot, according to data analysed by the European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. That’s true for first and second doses, as well as boosters, the agency said.
“Mix-and-Match” shot combinations are already used in a number of countries, including in the U.K.’s booster program, and can provide countries with flexibility when managing vaccine stockpiles and shortages as the new omicron variant spreads.
The EMA said data showed those getting a booster shot from a different maker than their first two doses have at least as effective protection against Covid-19 as those given the same vaccine type, and can even provide a better shield in some cases.
More research is needed to investigate mixed vaccine schedules for immunosuppressed individuals, the EMA said.
The recommendations from the EMA follow a U.K. study published Monday which showed that mixing Covid vaccines is effective and can be used without lowering protection.
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