Heterologous vaccination scheme also well tolerated in Germany!

If the first vaccination and the second vaccination differ in the type of vaccine, one speaks of a heterologous vaccination scheme. This scheme is particularly effective in connection with AstraZeneca and BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna. After the AstraZeneca vaccine was only to be vaccinated for people over the age of 60, many people were given a second vaccination with a different vaccine. A study from Germany shows the high effectiveness of heterologous corona vaccination.

A first study by the Berlin Charité shows no disadvantages of the heterologous vaccination scheme in relation to the effectiveness and tolerability of the vaccine. An initial evaluation of the previously published data so far indicates a positive balance.

Heterologous vaccination schedule: efficacy

The scientists analyzed data from around 340 healthcare workers. These were divided into two comparison groups.

  • Group one was vaccinated exclusively with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. The vaccination interval was three weeks.
  • Group two received vaccination with  AstraZeneca . The second vaccination with BioNTech/Pfizer took place ten to twelve weeks later.

A clearly visible immune response was registered in both groups: the number of people who had antibodies against the spike protein of the  coronavirus  was almost 100 percent just three weeks after the second vaccination.

With heterologous vaccination, a higher binding strength of the antibody to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is achieved. The response of the T cells is also significantly higher with the heterologous vaccination than with the homologous vaccination scheme. T-cells belong to the white blood cells, they can track down and destroy cells that are already infected with the virus. This process can help stop the spread of the virus in the body.

Overview of vaccination reactions after homologous and heterologous vaccination

Both vaccination schedules were well tolerated. The following  vaccination reactions  occurred more frequently during the study:

  • Mild and moderate pain reactions (pain at the injection site) occurred with both vaccinations.
  • After the first vaccination with AstraZeneca, systemic reactions such as  fever , rashes, exhaustion and  swollen lymph nodes were  registered. However, these side effects also increased after the homologous second vaccination with BioNTech/Pfizer.

Overall, no increased vaccination reactions were registered with the heterologous vaccination scheme compared to a homologous vaccination with BioNTech/Pfizer.

Is the heterologous vaccination recognized in holiday destinations?

The Ministry of Health in Germany follows the recommendations of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which recognizes the heterologous vaccination scheme as complete vaccination protection. It has not yet been finally clarified whether this will also be accepted as complete vaccination protection in other countries.

With the introduction of the digital vaccination card, which should be valid in all EU countries, this question could be clarified at the end of June. While Germany and Great Britain have already carried out the first studies and test runs on the crossed vaccination scheme, the heterologous vaccination has not yet been used in other EU countries.

 

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