So, I just turned down my vaccination ... did I make a mistake?
I'm in Hungary, and my local doctor's office just called to tell me I have a Tuesday appt to get the first shot of the Sputnik V vaccine.
Problem is, I'm moving to The Netherlands in 2 weeks. I would have to stay here for another month to get the 2nd shot. Too much already put in motion for the end-of-April move.
I could have just gotten the first shot here, and then see what/when I get up in The Hague. But A) that feels like cheating, and 2) IDK how wise it is to mix vaccines.
Now if I die of Covid before getting vaccinated up there, I'm gonna feel like an idiot.
For the record, I did cancel the appointment, and I assume that, by now, my slot has been filled and I would get pushed to the bottom of the list, if I were to call my doctor back at this point.
Hungary, for whatever reason, is perhaps the #1 best country in the EU to date, for progress on getting its citizens vaccinated (32% half, 14% fully vaccinated, compared to the EU average of 16% and 6%). Being willing to use the Russian and Chinese vaccines w/o EU approval is, I'm sure, a contributing factor.
The Netherlands, on the other hand, is desperately struggling to be "not dead last" in the EU vaccination rankings.
Additionally, I'm 53 years old, right on the cusp of "not quite old enough to be high risk".
So it really was tempting to go ahead and get at least halfway-vaccinated before I go. But the Russian vaccine (as well as the Chinese one) seems to be especially dependent upon getting both shots. So, hopefully I don't die of Covid before The Netherlands gets around to me, but for now, I'll keep wearing masks and washing my hands.
That sounds completely reasonable to me. Mixing shots wasn't part of the testing process so we don't know anything about how effective or not it would be or even if it might be potentially dangerous for unforeseen reasons. I don't think I would consider myself vaccinated until I got two shots of the same vaccine. Also the Dutch government probably wouldn't consider you to be vaccinated until you got 2 of the shots that they are administering. I would only consider it if Sputnik V is approved and in use there, did you look into that? Otherwise, at best, it would probably be wasting a dose that could have gone to someone else.
I'm going to preface this with "I am a random stranger on the internet, this is not medical advice."
I'm not sure how the Sputnik V would be comparable to the others, but I've heard (from a reasonably qualified source) that if supply chains weren't an issue, there would be virtually no harm in getting the various mRNA-based shots. Not to say you should mix/match interchangeably, but rather that after you finish the one getting the other shouldn't hurt.
Tough call. I don’t know if it’s the right one, but it’s probably not the wrong one.
There are about 17m people in the Netherlands.
So far they've given about 4.2m doses.
I don't know the situation with AstraZenica in the Netherlands - I think they're currently only using it for people over the age of 60.
Personally, I'd have avoided mixing vaccines (especially different types of vaccine). Research has started to see if it's safe and effective. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/should-you-mix-and-match-covid-19-vaccines-scientists-are-seeking-answers
I know it’s been said some of the vaccines can be mixed, but it should be avoided if possible.
There's a clinical trial in progress in the UK to get a better picture of what happens if you mix them, although Sputnik isn't part of the test group. Obviously there are two ways to read that: one being "hey, they think mixing may actually be beneficial", the other being "it's currently being carefully tested on just a few hundred people, perhaps it's best that @Eric_the_Cerise didn't conduct an unsanctioned test on themself".
Where is @skybrian when you need him?
Assuming you are in the low risk pool, mask up during your travels, and will have the ability to stay in the Netherlands hospital system if required?
I would say you are very unlikely to die, and you have a very low risk of having nasty side effects.
Only 3% of travelers to New Zealand are tested positive with COVID right now.
The trouble is our monkey brains aren't good at calculating risks, and so it will be scary.
But I think you did the right thing.
I don't think Sputnik is going to give you full protection after two weeks.
They will ask if you have had any other vaccines before giving you one in Netherlands, and you probably don't want the complications of having to say yes.
I'm not going to give advice, but I wouldn't worry too much if mixing happened accidentally. It doesn't seem like health professionals are normally all that concerned about getting an accurate vaccination history before giving you another vaccine? They're more interested in any allergies you might have and other serious medical problems. Until recently, the CDC was recommending that people who have an allergic reaction to an mRNA vaccine get the J&J vaccine instead of a second shot, despite not recommending this for anyone else.
On the other hand, immune systems are very complicated, common sense often doesn't apply, and I'm not an immunologist.
I don't think it was the wrong move, especially since it's a vaccine that you can't (IIRC) get the second dose of in NL anyways.
Maybe if travel back to HU was feasible after moving, then I'd be more on the side of getting it now, but if not, I'd have to agree with your logic on turning it down. At least for the trip for round two, you'd have partial immunity so it'd be safer than traveling fully unvaccinated. I'm assuming there's little chance of being able to get a first dose of AZ, Pfizer, or Moderna (I know Hungary is in the EU but since they're using Russian and Chinese vaccines as well, I don't know if they're using any of the ones in common with the rest of it) before you end up in NL? I could see that being easier to handle splitting doses for across the two countries.