Taiwan mulls mix-and-match trial with local COVID-19 vaccine

23-Jul-2021 Intellasia | FocusTaiwan | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Taiwan is considering conducting a clinical trial that would test the viability of mixing a newly approved locally made COVID-19 vaccine with imported ones, the Central Epidemic Command centre (CECC) said Wednesday.

CECC specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen said thought has been given to conducting a relatively small-scale clinical trial soon given that no research has been done on mixing the Taiwan-made vaccine with existing global vaccines.

If the study proved that such an approach were feasible, the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices (ACIP) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare would officially recommend allowing that mix-and-match approach, he said.

The possibility emerged after a COVID-19 vaccine made by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp. was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) on Monday, a first for a local vaccine maker.

The approval was granted even though the vaccine has only completed an expanded Phase 2 clinical trial that did not offer any data on how effectively it actually protected trial participants from getting the disease.

The EUA was granted based on the concentration of neutralising antibodies found in trial participants compared to those found in people who received two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Chang did not say how a mix-and-match clinical trial would be structured and what it would test for, though it would likely use a similar approach of checking the level of antibodies produced by the combination of vaccines against those generated by two doses of the same vaccine.

Taiwan currently prohibits mixing doses due to the lack of clinical data on the practice’s safety and efficacy.

But according to the CECC, local clinical trials on mixing the AstraZeneca vaccine with the Moderna brand have recently begun at National Taiwan University Hospital and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, with results expected in three months.

Chang said Taiwan is doing that trial because studies done overseas have proven that mixing the AstraZeneca vaccine with the Pfiser-BioNTech vaccine is safe and effective, but no study has been done on mixing AstraZeneca with Moderna.

The unstable supply of vaccines in Taiwan has resulted in public clamor for mixing vaccines so that people can have their second shot with whatever vaccine is available.

To date, Taiwan has only received deliveries of the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines.

https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202107210019

 

Category: Taiwan

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