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Government May Consider Mixing Vaccines To Boost Efficacy, Says Khairy

Following reports from other countries about mixing vaccines to boost immune responses, Covid-19 National Immunisation Programme (NIP) coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin has announced that Malaysia may be considering mixing vaccines, with AstraZeneca as the first dose, followed with Pfizer-BioNTech as the second, to boost efficacy against different variants.

This method was initially introduced to cope with vaccine supply constraints, but recent studies have found that this approach actually helps to produce strong immune responses.

“We have real-world data that we received from Germany regarding heterologous vaccination, using AstraZeneca for the first dose and Pfizer as the second dose, which has been shown to boost the antibody and proven more effective against variants,” said Khairy.

However, Khairy assures that the government will be monitoring the data closely before making a decision, saying “Once the technical working group is clear on that, we will advise the Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee and we will implement the heterologous vaccination.”

This approach would also help with Malaysia’s delayed AstraZeneca supply from the Covid-19 Vaccine Global Access (Covax) programme.

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