India variant: Expert discusses vaccines that are 'effective'
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Vaccine distribution has been a hot-button issue the world over and for evidence of this look no further than India. The country, which was responsible for exporting much of the world’s supply of coronavirus vaccines, has had to focus on jabbing its own while it battles a rampant third wave. Vaccine scarcity and a need to enhance immunity has ignited interest in the viability and efficacy of combining coronavirus vaccines. These factors lead to the launch of the Com-Cov study in February, which set out to examine what would happen if recipients received a different vaccine for their second dose.
The study is ongoing but preliminary data has now been published in a research letter in the medical journal the Lancet.
A surprising finding has emerged from the research – adults mixing doses of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer Covid vaccines are more likely to incur adverse reactions.
Researchers found that chills, headaches and muscle pain were reported more frequently when different vaccine doses were combined.
Any adverse reactions were short lived, with no other safety concerns.
“It’s a really intriguing finding and not something we were necessarily expecting,” Prof Matthew Snape, from the Oxford Vaccine Group said.
The study, led by the University of Oxford, has recruited 830 volunteers aged over 50.
Drilling down into the data
One in 10 volunteers given two AstraZeneca jabs four weeks apart reported feverishness – but if they received one AstraZeneca jab and one Pfizer, in any order, the proportion rose to about 34 percent.
“The same real differences applied for other symptoms such as chills, fatigue, headache, malaise and muscle ache,” Prof Snape, the trial’s chief investigator, said.
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“One thing it’s telling us is that you wouldn’t want to vaccinate a ward full of nurses on same day [with mixed doses of different vaccines], because you might have more absenteeism the next day.”
In April, the study was expanded, adding another 1,050 volunteers to test combinations of the Moderna and Novavax Covid vaccines alongside the AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
What are the typical side effects of the coronavirus vaccines?
Typical side effects reported include:
- A sore arm where the needle went in
- Feeling tired
- A headache
- Feeling achy
- Feeling or being sick.
Most people report that side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine are mild and should not last longer than a week.
According to the NHS, you may get a high temperature or feel hot or shivery one or two days after having your vaccination.
“But if you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you may have COVID-19,” notes the health body.
If you have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, you are advised to get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if you have COVID-19 as soon as possible.
You and anyone you live with should stay at home and not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone in your childcare or support bubble should also stay at home if you have been in close contact with them since your symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.
If you get symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) again, you must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab).
You should also self-isolate again if:
- Someone you live with gets symptoms
- Someone in your childcare or support bubble gets symptoms and you were in close contact with them since their symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started.
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