Combining AstraZeneca and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is effective -Danish study

The study shows that fourteen days after a combined vaccination program, the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is reduced by 88%

  
A woman wearing a protective mask receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 16, 2021.

A woman wearing a protective mask receives a dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 16, 2021.

Reuters/Ajeng Dinar Ulfiana

COPENHAGEN- Combining AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine with a second dose from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna's jab provides "good protection", Denmark's State Serum Institute said on Monday.

A growing number of countries are looking at switching to different COVID-19 vaccines for second doses, a measure particularly necessary in Denmark after health authorities discontinued inoculations with AstraZeneca's vaccine in April over rare side-effect concerns. 

More than 144,000 Danes, mostly frontline personnel in the health sector and the elderly, received their first jab with AstraZeneca's vaccine but were subsequently vaccinated with either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna's shots.

"The study shows that fourteen days after a combined vaccination program, the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 is reduced by 88% compared to unvaccinated individuals," the State Serum Institute (SSI) said.

That is a "high efficacy", SSI added, comparable to the 90% efficacy rate of two doses from Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine, confirmed in a different Danish study.

The study, published last week, covered a span of more than five months between February and June this year, a period in which the Alpha-variant of the coronavirus was predominant.

It could not conclude whether the same protection applied to the Delta-variant, which is now the most widespread in Denmark.

It also provided no efficacy data on COVID-19 related deaths or hospitalisations, since none took place following the combined vaccination programme.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard, editing by Louise Heavens) ((Nikolaj.Skydsgaard@thomsonreuters.com;))


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