Medical journal urges New York Times to fix vaccine ‘mixing’ articleJanuary 5, 2021
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The editor of a British medical journal has called on the New York Times to correct a “misleading” article that said COVID-19 vaccine guidance in the United Kingdom allowed for mixing two different shots.
Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the British Medical Journal, urged the Gray Lady to print a “highly visible correction” to the Jan. 1 article about a “mix-and-match vaccine regimen,” the BBC reported.
She said in a letter that it was “seriously misleading” for the paper to report that health officials allow patients to receive their second dose from a different coronavirus vaccine than the first one they were given.
While a different second dose is allowed to be considered in exceptional cases for patients who are an “immediate high risk,” experts don’t recommend the practice.
In the Times article, it was reported that the UK “quietly updated its vaccination playbook” to allow for doses from different drugmakers.
A Public Health England official told the Times that substitutions should occur only on “a very exceptional basis, when the alternative is to leave someone with an incomplete course.”
The article also noted that a second dose could be substituted when the vaccine used is no longer available or it’s not known which shot was initially administered.
However, experts were quoted as saying the UK had “abandoned science completely” and was “kind of in this Wild West.”
Dr. Mary Ramsay, Public Health England’s head of immunizations, stressed that the practice should only be considered on “extremely rare occasions.”
“Every effort should be made to give them the same vaccine, but where this is not possible, it is better to give a second dose of another vaccine than not at all,” Ramsay said, the BBC reported.
The New York Times didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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