The research will be undertaken to see if people that have been inocculated with the Janssen vaccine would benefit from a second shot using (for example) Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or another Janssen vaccine
The university hospital UMCG in Groningen will investigate whether it is beneficial to give a second shot using a different vaccine among employees that have already been given the Janssen vaccine. The study is a national study in which three other University Medical Centres are also involved, and employees will receive a second shot of the Janssen, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
With three of the four vaccines registered in the Netherlands, it is necessary to administer two vaccinations in order to develop a good immune response against the Coronavirus. Janssen’s vaccine is the only vaccine that provides sufficient protection against severe COVID-19 with just one jab.
But due to the increasing circulation of certain variants of the Coronavirus, it is possible that an additional vaccination after one shot of Janssen is necessary, the researchers say. As reported by the GIC.
Mix and match vaccines
It is common for the same COVID-19 vaccine to be administered twice, but there are several reasons why combining different vaccines can be beneficial. “By mixing vaccines, vaccination campaigns become more flexible, the vaccination process can be accelerated and the impact of delivery problems can be reduced,” says Prof. dr. Hugo van der Kuy, Head of Pharmacy at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam.
Due to the rare side effects after vaccination with the AstraZeneca jab, it has already been investigated in a number of countries whether an initial vaccination with AstraZeneca could be followed by an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna. The first studies show that this turned out to be a good and safe approach to elicit a strong immune response without serious side effects.
A large group of people in the Netherlands have been vaccinated using the Janssen vaccine, so the researchers will study whether that can be followed up by another Janssen, a Pfizer or a Moderna shot. The SWITCH study has been set up in consultation with the international studies that are underway into the combination of different vaccines.
Hospital employees to be subjects
Thanks to financial support from ZonMw, the researchers will conduct this research among hospital employees from the four different academic centers. The researchers are mainly studying whether the combinations are safe and whether this elicits a good immune response.
They will also study the immune response against the different Coronavirus variants, because combining vaccines could lead to a broader immune response. The first results of this study are expected at the end of October.