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China allows COVID booster of other technologies to enhance immunization strategies

China is administering COVID-19 booster vaccines using technologies different from those used for the first injections to strengthen vaccination techniques. This comes amid fears that the country’s most widely used vaccines may be weaker against variations such as Omicron.

Increasing population immunity could be critical in preparing China to reopen its borders and abandon its “dynamic zero” strategy, which includes travel restrictions and mass testing in response to dozens of local outbreaks. Experts are waiting to see if combining Chinese doses improves effectiveness.

As of Feb. 7, over a third of China’s 1.4 billion citizens have received booster immunizations using the same technology as their original doses.

According to Reuters, Adults who had a booster dosage of a vaccination created by Sinopharm or Sinovac at least six months ago can now get their booster doses through CanSino Biologics (CanSinoBIO) or a unit of Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, according to National Health Commission official Wu Liangyou.

Wu told a news conference that data showed boosters using the same or different technologies as main immunizations can improve immunity. He didn’t make a distinction between the two ways.

Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot, supplemented with a third dose roughly two to five months after the second, was found to be effective in a small Hong Kong study.

In a clinical experiment, the Sinovac booster-triggered antibody response was likewise weaker against Delta than a CanSinoBIO booster. Antibody levels were lower after the third booster of Sinopharm’s BBIBP-CorV vaccine than after a booster of Zhifei’s vaccine. According to Shao Yiming, the booster vaccine reduced the rate of Omicron breakthrough infection by more than twofold when compared to the original vaccination.

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