A COUNTY Durham man has been left concerned after being given a different Covid vaccine during his second appointment because of reported issues with supply.
Joseph Dodds, originally from Chester-le-Street, was given the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab when going for his second dose at the Felling Hub, last Friday.
The 33-year-old, who now lives in Gateshead, said he had been given the option to decline but had been warned a second dose of his original vaccine, Pfizer/BioNTech may not be available in time.
Under current guidance, those receiving their first dose of the Covid vaccine should have their second dose within twelve weeks for maximum protection.
Guidance published earlier this year by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation states it does not recommend ‘mixing and matching of vaccines.’
But guidance from Public Health England states that while it remains preferable for those to get the same vaccine as first given, a different dose can be provided in exceptional circumstances.
However, raising concerns over whether he should have received a different vaccine, Mr Dodds said he was not aware of anyone else who had experienced the same.
He told The Northern Echo: “The nurse giving me the jab simply said I will be receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine as they didn’t get any Pfizer in and weren’t sure when.
Mr Dodds saw his app update to reflect the mix matched vaccines
“She then went through the usual side effects of AstraZeneca and said she didn’t know if it would be different having both.”
Explaining that he suffered from symptoms including nausea, loss of appetite and aching muscles for 48 hours after, he believed others at the site did not get a mix-matched jab.
He said: “I think that everyone that day was getting AstraZeneca, because when I got Pfizer the other room had chairs in for people to wait 15 minutes, and apparently with this one you can just leave straight away – which is what people were doing.”
“The concerns I have are the fact I believed they weren’t recommended mixing these vaccines.
“I had been rough over the weekend, nauseous on Saturday and couldn’t really eat much, aching all day Sunday recovering Monday though.”
Calling for more transparency on the mixing of vaccines, Mr Dodds added: “I don’t know anyone who has had mixed vaccines.”
Earlier this week, a hospital apologised after staff administered the ‘wrong’ vaccine to a patient in Swindon.
The Great Western Hospital said sorry after a woman had been given the Pfizer vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca jab, although it said it did not anticipate any ill effects.
Although not common place, The Northern Echo understands that a different vaccine may be offered to a patient but only under certain circumstances.
According to the British Medical Journal, Public Health guidance given to healthcare professionals states it remains preferable for patients to get the same vaccine as first administered.
But that it is “reasonable to offer one dose” of the locally available product to complete the schedule.
It went on to say that this option is “preferred” if the patient is likely to be at immediate high risk or considered unlikely to attend again.
But the Department of Health, which said it was up to NHS England to comment on the case, refuted any suggestion their had been a shortage of Pfizer jabs.
A spokesperson said the vaccination programme continued to make “phenomenal progress,” while saying it had been clear that everyone who is due a second dose should receive it on schedule.
The Northern Echo contacted NHS England and the Newcastle Gateshead CCG but did not receive a response at time of publication.