D.he use of different corona vaccines – first AstraZeneca and as a second dose BioNTech / Pfizer – has probably no disadvantages in terms of effectiveness and tolerability for vaccinated people, according to a preliminary Charité evaluation. According to the study, a combination of the preparations at an interval of ten to twelve weeks is well tolerated and elicits immune responses comparable to those of a series of vaccines that only consist of BioNTech vaccines. The Charité scientist Leif Erik Sander wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
The background to the mixed vaccination series is a recommendation by the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) after rare but serious complications after AstraZeneca initial vaccinations, especially among younger people, became known. For risk-benefit considerations, people under the age of 60 who have already had an AstraZeneca vaccination are recommended to have a second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine such as BioNTech / Pfizer. However, experts have so far seen a lack of reliable data on the safety and effectiveness of this new combination.
The interim evaluation of the Charité has been published as a so-called preprint. This means that a review by external experts and the subsequent publication in a specialist journal are still pending. Sander’s scientists collected and compared data from around 340 health care workers who were vaccinated between the end of 2020 and May 21. One group received the vaccine from BioNTech / Pfizer twice with an interval of three weeks, another was vaccinated with AstraZeneca for the first vaccination and with Biontech for the second vaccination.
The Frankfurt virologist Sandra Ciesek wrote on Twitter that it was “important data”. She commented that the immune response was “(as expected) very good and comparable to homologous vaccination with mRNA vaccine”. The SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach tweeted: “This combination is well tolerated and has a slightly stronger effect than a double BioNTech vaccination. The combination can be recommended. “
The Charité researchers restricted the fact that it was not a so-called randomized controlled study in which the subjects were randomly assigned to one of the two groups. Such a study structure is considered desirable for many scientists. In addition, it is unclear to what extent observed differences could also be related to the longer vaccination interval of the group with the various vaccines.
The results appear to contradict a recently published study published in the journal Lancet. According to this study, vaccinees with two different vaccines are more likely to have mild and moderate side effects after the second dose. The Charité scientists suspect that the longer distance between the two doses in the Berlin study could have something to do with the less pronounced vaccine reactions.