In the recent webinar organised by the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Malaysia, the Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister, Khairy Jamaluddin said that the Malaysian government is currently studying the feasibility of the mix-and-match Covid-19 vaccines approach.
This mix-and-match approach, also known as the heterologous vaccination method, includes AstraZeneca as the first dose, and followed by Pfizer–BioNTech for the second dose.
In the webinar, Khairy said that the Ministry had received real-world data from Germany regarding this approach and the set of data showed promising results in increasing vaccine efficacy rates.
Despite having the data, Khairy said that they do not want to make a quick decision to go ahead with the approach and will keep a eye on this closely.
He added that once sufficient data have been studied, they will recommend it to the NIP’s working technical group to be tabled to its committee, before he and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba will decide as the NIP’s co-chairs.
However, Khairy said that he is optimistic about the chances as the current data shows that it is feasible to boost the neutralising antibodies, the efficacy or effectiveness. In addition, Malaysia is facing a vaccine supply constraints, the heterologous vaccination method is able to ensure that the effects of the vaccine are still there.
According to Malay Mail, this approach was previously studied by a group of German doctors involving a small test group of 26 young patients, suggesting a combination of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccine may trigger immune response up to 4 times stronger if administered two doses of the same vaccine.
The results of the test shows that the heterologous vaccination methods is indeed more effective in neutralising antibodies to protect the recipients from new Covid-19 straits such as the Alpha and Beta strains.
Their test also concluded that repeated doses of either vaccine showed a tendency of it becoming less effective over time, or induced stronger side effects with repeated doses.
What do you think about this? Leave a comment below!
Watch the webinar here: