Mixing coronavirus vaccines linked to more side effects: Study

A range of symptoms including headache and chills were reportedly more prevalent following a mixed regimen.

Mixing coronavirus vaccines linked to more side effects: Study

The first data from the U.K.’s trial on mixing coronavirus vaccines has shown a higher rate of side effects such as headache and chills than standard regimens.

Participants reported more symptoms from the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab followed by the BioNTech/Pfizer jab, and vice versa, than from standard schedules, according to early data from the Com-COV study published in The Lancet late Wednesday. The initial findings looked at the side effects after two doses were administered four weeks apart.

For example, around 10 percent of people reported chills after the second dose of AstraZeneca in the standard schedule. If they had received Pfizer after AstraZeneca, that figure increased to around 40 percent, said Matthew Snape, lead investigator of the Oxford University trial.

The standard Pfizer schedule reported around 25 percent have chills after the second dose, while over 45 percent reported chills with AstraZeneca after Pfizer. A similar trend is seen across a range of symptoms — including fatigue, feverishness, headache, joint pain, malaise and muscle ache.

Snape told journalists this was a “really intriguing finding, and not something necessarily we were expecting to see such a consistency on.”

He said that most of these effects were mild and short-lived. But the study also showed an increase in moderate symptoms with the combinations.

The data also confirmed what was suspected from existing schedules: There are more reported side effects after the first dose of AstraZeneca than the second, and more after the second dose of Pfizer than the first.

The study is also testing side effects and the immune response with a 12-week interval, and is now adding in randomized prophylactic paracetamol versus paracetamol when needed, to advise on reducing these symptoms, said Snape. Data on the immune response from these combinations is expected in June. 

The trial — which has expanded to include vaccines from Moderna and Novavax — has lots of interest globally, Snape said, noting the team has shared its data with national immunization technical advisory groups in Scandinavia, Northern Europe and Canada.

Some countries, including France and Germany, are already administering an mRNA vaccine to young adults who have had a first dose with the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, over blood clots concerns.

Source : Politico EU More   

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EU nationals in the UK don’t trust government bodies, watchdog says

Half of Europeans surveyed fear unequal treatment in the future, finds Independent Monitoring Authority.

EU nationals in the UK don’t trust government bodies, watchdog says

LONDON — There is a “significant lack of trust and confidence” in British public bodies by Europeans living in Britain, according to the U.K. watchdog on citizens’ rights.

The Independent Monitoring Authority (IMA), established in January to oversee the U.K.’s implementation of the citizens’ rights provisions in the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, said a lack of faith in public institutions is “a pervasive sentiment” among Europeans settled in Britain.

About half of the 2,880 European Economic Area and Swiss nationals living in Britain and Gibraltar who replied to an online survey told the IMA they do not have confidence they will be treated equally to British citizens in the future. More than one in four respondents said they are treated equally “none of the time” or “some of time.”

“Public authorities have a crucial role to play in building trust and confidence with European citizens,” the IMA concluded in its report, published Thursday. “This includes promoting citizens’ rights in legislation, policy, and practice across all demographics, with particular attention to vulnerable and marginalised citizens.”

The survey results come after POLITICO revealed that at least 30 EU nationals from five countries had been held in immigration removal centers after being identified by U.K. border officials as intending to work in the country without a work visa. Following an outcry, the European Commission said this was a “consular issue” but expressed “concern” over the conditions and length of detention, which in some cases saw people spend four days or more in these centers.

U.K. officials have previously complained about the different pace at which British nationals are registered as residents across the EU, with large differences even among regions of the same country, among other issues.

The vast majority of the respondents to the IMA survey said they are planning to remain in the U.K. beyond June 30. That is the deadline for applications to the government’s EU Settlement Scheme, which guarantees EU citizens’ residence rights, and the moment when the British authorities will start requiring proof of status.

But lack of trust was one of the main issues cited by EU nationals considering leaving the country after that date. Germans, Spaniards and French people; higher earners; and those who lived in the U.K. for 5-10 years were the most likely to leave, according to the report.

And while income made little difference to confidence in equal treatment, age did, with younger respondents being the least confident that they will be treated equally in the future, the IMA said.

When asked why they had low confidence, 31 percent pointed to a lack of trust in the government; 11 percent cited the impact of the Brexit process; 10 percent blamed the lack of a physical proof for residence status; 9 percent referred to a hostile attitude toward immigrants; and 7 percent cited the Windrush scandal, which saw British citizens from the Caribbean wrongly face deportation and the loss of access to public services.

Distrust in public bodies was also a reason mentioned by some EU citizens for not engaging with the survey itself, the IMA said, adding that the online nature of the survey means it is likely to “undercount the extent and underplay the impact that issues with trust, confidence and awareness are having on more vulnerable or marginalised European citizens in the U.K.”

The survey results also suggest a lack of awareness by some EU nationals of their own rights as U.K. residents, with half of respondents saying they are not aware. Lack of awareness was highest among those aged 55-74. And although the majority of those familiar with their rights knew they could live, work and use social security in the U.K., less than half knew their professional qualifications should be accepted by British employers.

Maike Bohn, co-founder of campaign group the3million, called on the government to act. “The Home Office needs to address these findings and find the root causes for the issues raised,” she said. “It has to clearly communicate EU citizens’ rights, protect and support people toward getting status beyond June 30.”

Responding to the findings, Home Office minister Kevin Foster said EU citizens who arrived during Britain’s membership of the bloc are “our friends, neighbours and colleagues,” and said ministers were “committed to protecting citizens’ rights and have legislated to protect those rights in the UK.”

He added: “The success of the EU Settlement Scheme, with literally millions of statuses already granted, and the steps we have taken to ensure no-one is left behind, are testament to our determination to ensure EU citizens and their family members get the status they deserve in the UK.”

Are you a professional following the impact of Brexit on your industry? Brexit Transition Pro, our premium service for professionals, helps you navigate the policy, and regulatory changes to come. Email pro@politico.eu to request a trial.

Source : Politico EU More   

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