What does ‘mix and match’ of COVID vaccines mean? Is it safe and effective? Here’s what we know so far

Several European countries, including Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, authorities are now allowing younger people, who were previously given the AstraZeneca vaccine as first dose, to take an alternative vaccine as their second vaccine jab. Following multiple cases of rare side effects of a blood clotting/bleeding condition in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca vaccine, the authorities decided to stop the administration of the vaccines. Since then many European countries are using mix and match vaccine schedules.

According to an earlier published UK study , 830 people above the age of 50 were asked to get either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines first, then the other vaccine later. The study found that those who received mixed doses showed mild to moderate symptoms following their second dose as opposed to people who received non-mixed doses. However, as per experts the symptoms were short lived.

As of now, data suggests AstraZeneca shot followed by the Pfizer shot is safe and effective. This combination is also likely to come with temporary side effects like aches and chills.

Read more: Coronavirus: Vaccines key solution to fight third wave of COVID, say experts

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