CORONAVIRUS/Taiwanese man reportedly goes for a vaccine triple

07/18/2021 04:09 PM
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CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) A Taiwanese man has received a rare COVID-19 vaccine mix, getting one dose each of the AstraZeneca (AZ), Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine, local media reported Sunday, a move local experts said they would not recommend.

In an exclusive report, the Chinese-language Apple Daily highlighted the vaccination record of a Taiwanese man, starting with getting the AZ brand vaccine as his first dose at a northern Taiwan hospital on April 21.

The man then traveled overseas where he received his second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, this time changing the brand to Pfizer-BNT, on June 11.

On July 2, he received his third and so far last COVID-19 shot -- a Moderna brand vaccine -- in Taiwan.

In response, the hospital confirmed to local media that it did issue this vaccination record to the man in question.

The hospital stressed, however, that it only administered the first shot of AZ to the man while recording the second and third shots based on documents presented by the man.

Asked to comment, Huang Li-min (黃立民), head of the Department of Pediatrics at National Taiwan University Hospital, said local health authorities have no way of telling if a person has received a vaccine jab abroad if they do not report it.

The man reportedly received three vaccination shots about one month apart, Huang said, and if he did not have any serious reactions immediately after each dose, he should be fine.

Huang said each vaccination dose could trigger higher antibody and T cell responses to boost one's immunity against the COVID-19 virus, but due to the lack of clinical data on such a mix's safety and efficacy, he would not recommend that people try it.

Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) official Lo Yi-chun (羅一鈞) said there currently is no evidence showing that mixing three different brands of vaccine shots could increase one's immunity against the COVID-19.

Currently, Taiwan prohibits mixing doses due to the lack of clinical data on the practice locally. Only those people who experience severe adverse reactions to a first dose of a particular brand are allowed to switch brands.

Overseas studies, however, have shown benefits to mixing the AZ and Pfizer-BNT vaccine, in that order.

Taiwan's health authorities are now conducting clinical trials on the mix-and-match approach to COVID-19 vaccines and the results could be released within three months, according to the CECC.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Joseph Yeh)

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