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More to Mix and Match

A study in the UK on using different SARS-CoV-2 vaccines for people's first and second doses is being expanded to include vaccines developed by additional companies, the Guardian reports.

The UK launched the study earlier this year with the aim of determining whether such mixing might offer better protection. The study began by offering the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for one dose and the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine for the other.

According to the Guardian, the study will now also examine the Moderna and Novavax SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. It notes that the Moderna vaccine is being rolled out in the UK, while Novavax's is under review by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. The new arms of the study are recruiting 175 people each, for 1,050 new trial participants, it adds.

"If we can show that these mixed schedules generate an immune response that is as good as the standard schedules, and without a significant increase in the vaccine reactions, this will potentially allow more people to complete their COVID-19 immunization course more rapidly," lead investigator Matthew Snape from the University of Oxford says, according to the Guardian. "This would also create resilience within the system in the event of a shortfall in the availability of any of the vaccines in use."