Business News/ Opinion / Drawbridge/  Mix and max

A study led by Oxford University researchers found that taking Pfizer-BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine as a second shot after a dose of AstraZeneca’s adenovirus jab can provoke a superior immune response to coronavirus than two doses of the latter. Not only is it safe to mix jabs, it could be used as a way to maximize one’s covid defences.

In the trials that were done, an AstraZeneca jab followed by Pfizer yielded a greater concentration of antibodies and better T-cell response than vice versa. Two Pfizer shots produced the most antibodies, while a Pfizer jab followed by AstraZeneca created only a fraction of these virus fighters but still more than two shots of AstraZeneca. These findings are significant now that we have opened our market to global vaccines. On Tuesday, Cipla was given a regulatory okay to import Moderna’s mRNA jab. However, the arrival of Pfizer’s, which took a similar scientific breakthrough, has stumbled on an argument over the legal fallout of side-effects. To widen our set of choices and ease our vaccine scarcity, the sooner we clear the path for mRNA doses, the better. Any jab is better than none, sure, but those who’d like to mix and max should have the option.

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Updated: 29 Jun 2021, 11:41 PM IST
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