Study: Mixed AstraZeneca/Pfizer vaccination shots boost antibodies

A new study from South Korea indicated a mixed vaccination of AstraZeneca and then a Pfizer COVID-19 shot boosts antibody levels by six times compared with two AstraZeneca doses.

The study, according to Reuters, involved 499 medical workers; 100 receiving mixed doses, 200 taking two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and the remainder getting two AstraZeneca shots.

A British study last month showed similar results, Reuters said.

In March, Germany, France and Italy joined a list of countries suspending use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though European regulators said there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

This latest study, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said none of the groups showed resistance to COVID’s alpha variant but showed effectiveness against the virus’ other variants, including the delta variant now raging among the unvaccinated in the U.S.

Over the weekend, President Joe Biden’s top health adviser said the nation is in an “unnecessary predicament” of soaring COVID-19 cases fueled by unvaccinated Americans and the delta variant.

“We’re going in the wrong direction,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, describing himself as “very frustrated.”

At the same time, CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, warned unvaccinated Americans not to go into bars and restaurants.

“What I would say bluntly is: If you are not vaccinated right now in the United States, you should not go into a bar, you should probably not eat at a restaurant. You are at great risk of becoming infected,” Reiner said.

According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 49.1% of the U.S. is vaccinated against the coronavirus. More than 163 million people, or 49% of the total U.S. population, are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data. Of those eligible for the vaccine, ages 12 and over, the figure rises to 57%.

In 48 states, new COVID cases last week jumped by at least 10% compared with the week before, according to Johns Hopkins University. In 34 of those states, the rate of new cases increased by more than 50%, CNN reported.

Fauci said recommending the vaccinated wear masks is “under active consideration” by the government’s leading public health officials. Also, booster shots may be suggested for people with suppressed immune systems who have been vaccinated, Fauci said.

Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he has taken part in conversations about altering the mask guidelines.

“This is an issue predominantly among the unvaccinated, which is the reason why we’re out there, practically pleading with the unvaccinated people to go out and get vaccinated,” Fauci said.

Fauci said government experts are reviewing early data as they consider whether to recommend that vaccinated individuals get booster shots. He suggested that some of the most vulnerable, such as organ transplant and cancer patients, are “likely” to be recommended for booster shots.