Covid breakthrough as ‘very powerful’ combination of AstraZeneca and Pfizer jab unveiled

Booster jabs: Professor discusses ‘powerful’ combination

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While Pfizer’s vaccine, which use mRNA technology, is said to give a stronger antibody immunity to protect people from becoming infected with coronavirus, combining this with AstraZeneca’s vaccine shot has been tipped to provide an even stronger form of protection against COVID-19. Speaking to Sky News today, Professor Paul Moss, from the Institute of Immunology at the University of Birmingham, said: “The combination of AZ (AstraZeneca) and an mRNA (Pfizer) is itself very powerful and should and could be something considered in the future.”

It came during a discussion about the UK’s booster jab rollout, having opted for Pfizer shots over the AstraZeneca jab.

Professor Moss explained: “The mRNA vaccines do give stronger antibody immunity and that’s really what people have depended on this summer.

“Certainly AZ can be given but the availability of mRNA was just slightly better for boosters.”

It comes after the Health Secretary Savid Javid told the House of Commons on Monday that Britain’s vaccination push, including boosters, is something the UK should be proud of.

He said the UK has delivered more than 15 million booster vaccines and claimed this is the most successful rollout in Europe.

Mr Javid told the Commons: “We should not talk down our world successful programme.

“And when it comes to the booster vaccines, we have delivered across the UK vaccines to 26 percent of the population over the age of 12.”

This comes as Europe is being rocked by another wave of Covid cases. Countries including Germany and the Netherlands have reintroduced Covid restrictions while Britain seems to be returning to normal life.

But the situation is not completely under control.

In England, 95.8 percent of over-80s in were likely to have tested positive for antibodies in the week to November 7, up from 87.9 percent a month earlier, with 75 to 79-year-olds seeing a jump from 86.9 percent to 95.8 percent in the period.

But with the suggestion to combine AstraZeneca and Pfizer jabs, experts are hoping protection can be strengthened in the future.

Back in June, University of Oxford scientists found mixing the AZ and Pfizer vaccines created a strong immune response against the virus, inducing higher antibodies than an AstraZeneca-only, two-dose schedule.

The researchers found the order of immunisation also had an impact, with AZ followed by Pfizer producing a stronger immune response out of the two mixed dosing regimens.

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Professor Matthew Snape, chief investigator on the trial, said: “The Com-COV study has evaluated ‘mix-and-match’ combinations of the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines to see to what extent these vaccines can be used interchangeably, potentially allowing flexibility in the UK and global vaccine roll-out.

“The results show that when given at a four-week interval both mixed schedules induce an immune response that is above the threshold set by the standard schedule of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.”

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