EU drug regulator positive on early data on mixing coronavirus vaccines

The European Medicines Agency Wednesday said there are “good scientific grounds” to suggest that mixing COVID-19 vaccines is safe and effective.

That’s because, currently, all the approved vaccines work in a similar way — by stimulating an immune response to the viral spike protein, the EMA said in an email.

In addition, early data from Spain and Germany suggests “a satisfactory immune response and no safety concerns,” the regulator said.

Spain, Germany and France are among the countries that have opted to offer an RNA vaccine from BioNtech/Pfizer or Moderna as a second dose to younger people who had already received a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, after concerns of rare but serious blood clots in this patient group.

Trials are also being carried out in the U.K., mixing several COVID-19 vaccine combinations. Early results have so far shown that mild reactions such as headaches and flu-like symptoms are more common with mixed combinations. The first immunity results are expected very soon.

The EMA said it was awaiting the result of these ongoing trials and it will review the data as it becomes available. 

“Currently, EMA is not in a position to make any definitive recommendations on use of different COVID-19 vaccines for the two doses,” the agency said, while also noting that decisions on how vaccinations should be given remain the prerogative of national vaccination expert groups.

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