The UK-based Oxford University disclosed its plans to initiate a medical trial in which doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be alternatively administered.
The objective of the research is to determine whether vaccine doses manufactured by different companies can be used in place for each other to introduce flexibility in the inoculation procedure which is currently rigid.
Jonathan Van-Tam, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of UK said, “Given the inevitable challenges of immunising large numbers of the population against COVID-19 and potential global supply constraints, there are definite advantages to having data that could support a more flexible immunisation programme. It is also even possible that by combining vaccines, the immune response could be enhanced giving even higher antibody levels that last longer.”
The study, which is planned to be carried out in a period of 13 months, will research on varying combinations of both booster and prime doses of vaccines produced by Pfizer and AstraZeneca at intervals of four and 12 weeks.
UK, which is currently struggling with its third and most deadly wave of COVID-19, was the first to start widening the gap between the vaccine jabs in order to inoculate more people with the initial dose of the vaccine.
Depending on the results of the research initiative, UK authorities will formally analyse the efficacy and safety of the vaccine combinations before announcing the results.
Just a day before the new study was announced, UK authorities released the results of a different study which found the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has promising results and also showed a reduced transmission rate.
Moreover, AstraZeneca announced that the new variants of COVID-19 which seem to emerge around the world, will have a vaccine around October.