South Korea plans mix-and-match trial of COVID-19 vaccines

iStock [illustration]

South Korea on Thursday said it will conduct a clinical trial that mixes COVID-19 vaccine doses developed by AstraZeneca Plc with those from Pfizer Inc and others.

The decision comes as a growing number of countries look into using different COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses amid supply delays and safety concerns that have slowed their vaccination campaigns.

A health official said the trial will include around 500 military personnel who were vaccinated with a first dose of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 shot.

The study will examine T cells - immune cells that can destroy virus-infected cells - and neutralising antibodies in those who were given a combination of doses, the health official told reporters.

The timing and the size of the study has not been decided, the health official said, but will involve a diverse age group.

South Korea's vaccination campaign has been hampered by global shortages and shipment delays, deepening public scepticism over Seoul's goal of reaching herd immunity by November.

It has given first doses to just over 7 per cent of its 52 million population, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency data showed on Thursday.

The country has reported 646 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Wednesday, bringing total infections to 134,117, with 1,916 deaths.

More from International News

On Virgin Radio today

Trending on Virgin Radio

  • See Taylor Swift in London

    See The Eras Tour movie at Roxy Cinemas AND see it in person at Wembley Stadium! Just listen to Virgin Radio (Taylor's Version)

  • Untold Festival

    The biggest performances, interviews and a behind the scenes look before Untold comes to Dubai in February 2024.

  • Middle East Hot 30

    Every weekend Kris Fade plays the biggest tracks in the Middle East. Check out this weeks chart...

  • Jason Derulo on the Kris Fade Show!

    The super-star and multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, Jason Derulo is bringing the heat to Dubai.