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Second Dose Of C-19 Vaccine

Experts differ over use of two different jabs

Published : Friday, 28 May, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 478
HM Imam Hasan

Distrust has grown among second dose recipients on whether the second dose of the coronavirus vaccine will be effective if administered with products of two different companies. Opinions on this issue widely differ among the public health experts.
They say it can be taken but it is better to take two doses of the same vaccine to prevent Covid-19, though the benefits or side effects of two-dose of the vaccine from two companies have not yet been studied.
Uncertainties loom over whether people who have taken the first dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the country will receive the second dose of the same on time.
According to the DGHS, 9,576,935 men and women have been vaccinated so far. Of these, 5,819,912 people took the first dose but only 3,757,023 people got two doses of the vaccine.
There are 21 lakh people waiting but there is only about seven lakh vaccines in stock. As a result, more than 14 lakh people are not getting the second doses on time.
Last November, a tripartite agreement was signed on the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. According to the agreement, Beximco Pharma will provide 30 million doses of corona vaccine in Bangladesh from the Serum    Institute of India. Some 5.0 million doses are expected to come to the country from the Indian company every month. But Bangladesh is not getting the vaccine as agreed. So far, one crore and two lakh doses of vaccine have been received from India. Some 20 lakh doses came on January 21 as a gift from the government of India. The first consignment of government purchased 5.0 million doses of the vaccine came on January 25. The last consignment of 20 lakh vaccine came on February 23. Another 12 lakh doses came on March 26. In total, one crore and two lakh doses of vaccine have so far been received from India.
According to a recent article in a Spanish journal, scientists are researching mixed doses. Studies have shown that the first dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca and the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines increase the human body's antibodies by 30-40 times, which helps prevent corona. Those who received the first dose of mRNA and the second dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine also found evidence of high antibody production.
Robed Amin, spokesman of DGHS, said, "We are skeptical about getting more amount of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. In addition to India, the government is holding talks with the United States and Canada. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about mixed doses of vaccines across the world. Extensive research is going on this."
"The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine stock is running out and the vaccine stored in the country will last only one week. Those waiting for the second dose will receive the vaccine. The second dose can be given 12 to 16 weeks after the first dose," he added.  
When asked about the effectiveness of taking two doses of coronavirus vaccine from two companies, Mushtaq Hossain, Adviser and Epidemiologist of the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), said, "A vaccine recipient cannot take two doses of vaccines produced by two companies, because trial on this has not been done. AstraZeneca and Sputnik V have the same formula, but there are some slight differences."
"People have to take the vaccine of the same company as we are supposed to get another 2.0 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The United States has 60 million doses. They will give it to Covax, a pool of coronavirus vaccines under the Whole Health Organisation (WHO). We will get it from Covax," he added.
Dr Nazrul Islam, Adviser of Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 said, "One can be vaccinated with vaccines from two companies. Some preliminary results from this study are promising."
"Even if there is a gap of four months when taking the second dose of the vaccine, our suggestion would be to get vaccinated by the product of same company. Even if the gap widens, there is no problem," he added.
Dr Nazrul further said, "If the vaccine is not available, we can wait up to 16 weeks. If not available after 16 weeks, another vaccine will be given as a second dose. When there is nothing at hand, alternatives can be considered. That will be recommended by the expert committee."

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