Mixing COVID vaccines is safe but not a good idea as it increases the risk of side-effects, says study

Amid the coronavirus surge, people are desperately rushing to vaccination centres in order to complete their vaccination by receiving their second jab. But in a recent UK study, it has been revealed that people who were administered mixed doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are more likely to experience mild or moderate side-effects. These effects could range from fever, chills to headache.

The Com-Cov study, led by the University of Oxford since February, has been investigating how an individual reacts if given the cocktail of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine followed by the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, and vice versa.

To this, researchers found that combining doses of different COVID-19 vaccines can lead to certain side-effects such as chills, fever, headaches and muscle pain. However, it was also reported that the adverse reactions were short-lived and there were no other safety concerns.

Most countries are facing extreme vaccine shortage, and therefore people are receiving mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines based on their availability, which simply means that people are getting a different vaccine as a second dose than the first one.

The study also said that these recent findings are limited to “reactogenicity” findings, or how people feel after the vaccine, and are not based on the “immunogenicity” findings, that is how well the mixed dosing worked at inducing an immune response.

During the study, it was observed that people who got mixed doses of the COVID vaccines had more side-effects with 34 percent people reporting fever as compared to only 10 percent who were given both doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. While 41 percent of volunteers who received the Pfizer vaccine first and the AstraZeneca vaccine as their second dose reported experiencing fever as a side-effect compared to 21 percent who were given Pfizer vaccine as both doses.

However, World Health Organization (WHO), the US Centre for Disease Control or ICMR in India have yet not recommended giving mixed doses of vaccines in order to immunise people faster based on the availability of the vaccines.

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