Following the “herd immunity” strategy proposed early last year, the United Kingdom made another controversial decision to fight against the coronavirus epidemic: to allow the public to “mix-and-match” two coronavirus vaccines.
Several British and American experts questioned the law, and American experts criticized that the British government’s approach “totally abandoned science and was a random attempt”.
The United Kingdom has successively developed the world’s first Pfizer vaccine (a vaccine developed by Pfizer in the United States and BioTech in Germany) and AstraZeneca Vaccine (a vaccine developed in cooperation with AstraZeneca and Oxford University in the United Kingdom).
However, its extremely high transportation and storage conditions and high global demand make vaccines not available in the UK ideal.
Wang Huaqing, chief expert of immunization planning at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China, also said before that due to the short research and development time of the novel coronavirus vaccine, there is no research results on the simultaneous vaccination of the novel coronavirus vaccine and other vaccines, and it is impossible to determine the safety and immune effect of two different types of vaccines at the same time.
Therefore, it is not recommended to vaccinate two different types of vaccines at the same time.
UK health officials have noted that the shortage of vaccines in the UK is an “unavoidable problem”.
British media said that the British government seems to have made “a decision to balance risk and return”.
The British government allows “mixed vaccination” as guidance plan is modified.
According to the Financial Times on January 2, the British government quietly updated its vaccination norms, the Green Paper, allowing people to be injected with two different vaccines in specific cases.
The vaccines approved in the UK, currently Pfizer and AstraZeneca, both of which need to be vaccinated for the second time after a few weeks apart.
The British government’s latest guidance program acquiesces in the mixing of the two vaccines.
Guancha.com consulted the “Green Paper on Vaccination” updated by the British government last December, the official guidance document on the coronavirus vaccine, and found that “specific circumstances” means that “mixed vaccination” can be used when “the second dose of the same vaccine is not available, or the first dose of vaccine is unknown”.
As to why “the type of vaccine for the first dose is unknown”, the document does not explain.
The Green Paper added that the program prioritizes people who are “coming into a high-risk environment or unlikely to go to the site again for vaccination”.
The British government declared that “both vaccines are based on spiny protein, and a second dose may help improve the effect of the first injection.”
However, the New York Times reported on the 2nd that Pfizer and AstraZeneca’s vaccines are similar, but they adopt different technologies.
Both vaccines use spike protein (S protein), which is not infectious in itself, but can “teach” immune cells to recognize and fight the real coronavirus.
However, the “teaching method” of the two vaccines (the method of making people immune) is different.
Pfizer uses mRNA (message RNA) technology, while AstraZeneca uses DNA technology.
According to the Financial Times, a British health official denied that the new Green Paper proved that the British government had changed its vaccine strategy. The official said that “the United Kingdom has not adopted a mixed vaccination strategy” and that “this method is adopted in extreme circumstances.”
Experts criticize the British government for “abandoning science”
Mary Ramsay, head of the Public Health Service England (PHE), said that mixed vaccination for the coronavirus “is not recommended practice” and that “if the first time is Pfizer, the second time should not be vaccinated against AstraZeneca, and vice versa”.
Stephen Evans, a professor at the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine (LSH&TM), a subsidiary of the University of London, pointed out that the results of randomized trials did not support this approach.
The US CDC said that the two vaccines are “not interchangeable” and that “the efficacy and safety of mixed vaccinations have not yet been evaluated, and the same vaccines should be used for both vaccinations.”
John Moore, a vaccine expert at Cornell University in the United States, said bluntly, “there is no data in this regard anyway.” He criticized that the British government “seems to have completely abandoned science and just tried to get out of the chaos through random attempts”.
It is worth mentioning that according to a report by People’s Daily Online on December 22 last year, Wang Huaqing, chief expert of immunization planning at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention of China, pointed out that due to the short research and development time of the novel coronavirus vaccine, there is no research results on the simultaneous vaccination of the novel coronavirus vaccine and other vaccines, and it is impossible to determine the safety of two different types of vaccines at the same time.
Sexual and immune effects. Therefore, it is not recommended to vaccinate two different types of vaccines at the same time.
The epidemic is out of control again, and a vaccine is difficult to find.
The New York Times reported that the United Kingdom passed emergency authorizations for the use of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines in early and late December last year, respectively.
The UK government is running a “death race” against the virus, trying to get more people to produce antibodies as soon as possible. At present, tens of thousands of new coronavirus infections are added every day in the UK, and more infectious mutant strains were found in December.
As of January 4, the UK had 947,000 doses of vaccines, and the number of people who were vaccinated, less than 2% of the total population, was only 1.47%, according to Bloomberg’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking” page.
However, the growth rate of COVID-19 diagnosis in the UK has increased recently.
On the last day of 2020 (31 December), the UK reported that the number of confirmed cases exceeded 55,800 in the past 24 hours, a new high.
In the severe epidemic, London’s “square cabin hospitals” have been required to reopen, and “square cabin hospitals” in other parts of England have been “ready”.
UK health officials have pointed out that the shortage of vaccines in the UK is “unavoidable”.
The Financial Times commented that the British government seems to be “making decisions to balance risk and return in the face of challenges.”
It is worth mentioning that Monsef Slavey, the chief adviser of the U.S. vaccine and drug solution plan “Operation Warp” revealed on the 3rd that the U.S. government plans to halve the dose of people aged 18 to 55 who are vaccinated with Modena vaccine, that is, half the dose at a time, to speed up vaccine popularization.
Slavey declared, “We know that [half of the dose) can produce exactly the same immune response as the full dose”.