From AstraZeneca to BioNTech: High potency expected

From AstraZeneca to BioNTech: High potency expected
The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends that people under the age of 60 who have already received the corona vaccine from AstraZeneca receive a second vaccination with a vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna. But how does a heterologous, i.e. different, vaccination schedule affect immunity?

Rare sinus vein thrombosis has occurred after the AstraZeneca vaccination, particularly in women under the age of 60. The STIKO therefore advises under 60-year-olds against the vector vaccine.

Will switching from AstraZeneca to BioNTech affect efficacy?

Scientific studies on whether switching from vector vaccines in the first vaccination to  mRNA vaccines  in the second vaccination could have an impact on humans have not yet been evaluated. A vaccine change does not have a negative impact on immunity based on previous data from animal experiments. Even with vaccinations against other infectious diseases, a heterologous vaccination scheme did not lead to any reduced effectiveness.

On the contrary: switching from a vector to an mRNA vaccine could lead to a better immune response. The idea of ​​combining corona vaccines to boost the immune response against mutations has been around for a long time.

First studies show high effectiveness with vaccine combination

First study data from Spain show an increased effectiveness with the heterologous vaccination schedule: While a control group received the second vaccination with the vaccine from  AstraZeneca  , the other test group was vaccinated with the vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer. The immune response of both groups was analyzed two weeks after the second vaccination. A total of 600 people took part in the study.

Antibody levels after the second dose of BioNTech/Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine were between 30 and 40 times higher than in the control group that received just one dose of AstraZeneca.

The number of antibodies is still seven times higher with BioNTech/Pfizer, in contrast to the second vaccination with AstraZeneca, in which the antibody level only doubles.

Vaccination of people who have recovered from corona shows an immune boost

People who have already had  COVID-19  usually only receive an mRNA vaccination to maintain the number of antibodies and T cells and thus immunity.

Since antibodies and T-cells were already formed during the first vaccination with AstraZeneca, the second vaccination with BioNTech/Pfizer or  Moderna also stimulates  the  immune system  and can thus ensure increased effectiveness.

In addition, the spike protein acts as the vaccine antigen in both vaccines and forms the basis of the vaccine. Scientists therefore assume that a combination of both corona vaccines will be highly effective.


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