A man has received a rare COVID-19 vaccine mix, taking one dose each of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, local media reported yesterday, something local experts said they would not recommend.
The man’s vaccination record shows him first being inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at a hospital in northern Taiwan on April 21, the Chinese-language Apple Daily said.
He then traveled overseas where, on June 11, he received a second COVID-19 vaccine, this time the Pfizer-BioNTech brand. On July 2, he received his third shot, a Moderna vaccine, in Taiwan.
The hospital in northern Taiwan told local media it issued the man a vaccination record.
However, it said that it only administered the first AstraZeneca shot, while recording the second and third shots based on documents presented by the man.
Health authorities have no way of telling if a person has been vaccinated abroad if they do not report it, said Huang Li-min (黃立民), head of National Taiwan University Hospital’s Department of Pediatrics.
The man reportedly received three shots about one month apart, Huang said, adding that if he did not have any serious reactions after each dose, he should be fine.
Huang said each vaccination dose could increase antibodies and trigger a T-cell response to boost immunity against the COVID-19 virus, but due to a lack of clinical data on the safety and efficacy of such a mix, he would not recommend that people try it.
Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞), deputy head of the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) medical response division, said there is no evidence that mixing three different brands of vaccine could increase immunity against COVID-19.
Taiwan prohibits mixing brands due to a lack of local clinical data on the practice. Only people who experience severe adverse reactions after their first shot are allowed to switch brands.
However, overseas studies have shown the benefits of taking the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, in that order.
Local health authorities are conducting clinical trials on the mix-and-match approach and results could be released within three months, the CECC said.
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