The University of Oxford is to lead the first trial to explore alternating different COVID-19 vaccines, to explore the potential for flexibility in delivery and look for clues as to how to increase the breadth of protection against new virus strains.
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The study, run by the National Immunisation Schedule Evaluation Consortium (NISEC) and backed by £7 million of government funding from the Vaccines Taskforce, will evaluate the feasibility of using a different vaccine for the initial ‘prime’ vaccination to the follow-up ‘booster’ vaccination. This will help policy-makers explore whether this could be a viable route to increase the flexibility of vaccination programmes.
Matthew Snape, Associate Professor in Paediatrics and Vaccinology at the University of Oxford, and Chief Investigator on the trial said:
‘If we do show that these vaccines can be used interchangeably in the same schedule this will greatly increase the flexibility of vaccine delivery, and could provide clues as to how to increase the breadth of protection against new virus strains.’