London, January 2: The United Kingdom is considering to allow "mixed" COVID-19 vaccine shots under special circumstances. The move is aimed at completing the immunisation programme, and preventing incomplete vaccinations due to the unavailability of vaccine shots with which they were initially inoculated.
Both the vaccines that have been granted regulatory approval in the UK - Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca - are based on the two-shot regimen. Both the shots are to be administered at a gap of 28 days. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin Gets CDSCO Panel Nod, India's 2nd Vaccine Candidate to Receive Emergency Use Approval.
If the dose with which a person was given the first shot is not available at the site of vaccination, the person could be provided with another shot to complete the schedule, said the government's "Green Book for vaccinations".
"For individuals who started the schedule and who attend for vaccination at a site where the same vaccine is not available, or if the first product received is unknown, it is reasonable to offer one dose of the locally available product to complete the schedule," the guidelines stated.
Experts, however, have questioned the UK government's policy. Dr Phyllis Tien, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco, said this approach is not backed by data. "Dr Phyllis Tien, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco," NYT reported him as saying.