THE WORLD’S first trial to test the effects of mixing and matching coronavirus vaccines starts in Britain today.
The trial launched by Oxford University will see whether Brits could be given two different types of jabs to accelerate the vaccine roll-out.
The trial in Oxford University starts today
Researchers will today start recruiting 800 volunteers aged over 50 for the new trial to see if the Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccines can be used in a two-dose system, according to The Times.
Results of the trial could be seen as soon as June and would allow Brits to have their first jab boosted with a second dose of a different vaccine if there was a shortage of the one they originally had.
The study will see those involved being given either the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine first, followed by the other as a booster.
The subjects’ blood will be examined by scientists to test for how well their immunity responds.
Deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam has said the mix and match may even render better results.
He added: “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.”
Meanwhile, Mary Ramsay, of Public Health England, told The Times that if vaccines could be mixed and matched the immunisation roll-out could be simplified.
She said: “It will be really useful. It would allow people to get vaccines in different settings.
“Maybe they can get a second dose from their GP if they’re not able to travel to a centre.
“It makes implementation more simple.”
Yesterday it was revealed 10million Brits have now been vaccinated against Covid.
The NHS doled out 374,756 first doses on Tuesday, taking the national total to 10,021,471.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday hailed the “hugely significant milestone”, saying: “Every jab makes us all a bit safer. I want to thank everyone playing their part.”
One in five adults have now had their first dose of a Covid vaccine.
The NHS is now well on course to vaccinate 15million of the highest-risk Brits by mid-February.
The PM also hailed new research that shows the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine appears to reduce transmission of the coronavirus — and offers 76 per cent protection even after three months.
Just one dose of the Pfizer/ BioNTech jab is also highly protective — giving 90 per cent Covid protection after 21 days.