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Can mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines fix Australia’s rollout problem?

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COVID-19 vaccine.

Mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines is gaining momentum.

As countries around the world continue to rollout their COVID-19 vaccine programs, some nations have been slowed by supply disruptions or vaccine hesitancy. But experts believe mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines could be the solution.

Dr John Hart is a medical epidemiologist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He said people can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine as the first dose, then Pfizer or Moderna as the second dose.

“Many countries around the world, like Australia, have recommended that people in younger age groups don’t receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“There’s a study from Spain where people received their first dose of AstraZeneca and then receiving a second dose of Pfizer.

It appears that these people have a stronger immune response than if they received two doses of the AstraZeneca,” he explained.

Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are among the countries that are advising mixed vaccination schedules.

“They produce more antibodies and we think this would be more effective at preventing disease,” Dr Hart said.

Is it safe?

A UK study was published last month. It followed 830 adults who received the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines first, then the other at a later date.

The research found that people with mixed doses were likely to develop some mild symptoms. However, the reactions did not last long and no other concerns were raised.

“Every country in the world wants these vaccines and there’s going to be a limited supply for some time,” Dr Hart said.

“If we’re able to give one vaccine thats readily available and one that’s available later because of disruptions to supply chain, then I think that could be beneficial.”

But vaccine schedules may require modification in the near future, as booster shots rollout. However, researchers believe this is typical for vaccine programs as new evidence comes to light.

Last month, the European Union secured a record number of Pfizer-BioTech vaccines. But the World Health Organisation has criticised the global community for vaccine inequity.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

World

Four dead in Russian military plane crash

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Four people have been killed after a Russian military plane suffered an engine malfunction

The plane reportedly crashed in the city of Ryazan, which is located southeast of Moscow.

It’s believed five others are also injured. However, it is unclear how many were on board.

The Ilyushin IL-76 military cargo plane is a long-range aircraft, which can reportedly carry over 100 troops.

An Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft, which is similar to the one involved in the incident.

Local authorities say the plane suffered a malfunction while on a training flight.

Russia’s Defence Minister is yet to give any further details on the crash, or about the victims.

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Double election defeat for UK Conservatives

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have suffered defeat in two parliamentary by-elections

UK Conservatives have lost two crucial seats in England, which could spark concerns about Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s future.

The centrist Liberal Democrat party won the seats of Tiverton and Honiton.

The seats are in a Conservative part of south-west England, where a majority of 24,000 has been overturned.

The Liberal Democrats say it is their biggest ever majority turn around at a parliamentary by election.

“Tonight, the people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain. They’ve sent a loud and clear message: It’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”

winning candidate Richard Foord

The losses have renewed calls for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to resign after a police investigation into gatherings at his Downing Street offices.

Johnson recently survived a vote of no-confidence, which secured his term as Prime Minister for another 12 months.

It also follows the Conservatives winning a landslide majority in three decades during the last national election.

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Protestors disrupt Chinese ambassador’s speech in Sydney

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Protesters are causing disruptions during an address by China’s Ambassador to Australia

Xiao Qian is in Sydney, where is he speaking about how to improve ties between the two countries.

One protester described Mr Xiao as a “representative of a dictatorship” and accused the Chinese Government of committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims.

Others were heard shouting “Free Tibet”, and another was asked to leave the venue prior to the event because he was dressed in a military costume.

The speech was widely seen as an attempt to ease relations between the two countries.

China has put trade sanctions on Australia, while a recent encounter took place between a Chinese fighter jet and an Australian maritime aircraft over the South China Sea.

Security guards reportedly ushered the protesters.

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