"We need to wait": WHO urges caution against mix-and-match vaccines
The World Health Organization (WHO) is now advising against mixing two different vaccines.
Monday’s media briefing covered a range of topics, including vaccine passports, general COVID-19 research, and the COVID-19 vaccine.
Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said decisions to allow potential mixing of vaccines are being driven by a lack of data.
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“It’s a little bit of a dangerous trend where people are in a data-free, evidence-free zone.”
She went on to say that there’s a possibility that it will turn out to be a good approach, but because of the lack of data and science behind it, it’s too soon to say for certain.
“There are studies going on; we need to wait for that.”
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization, which certain Canadian health jurisdictions rely on for guidance in regards their vaccine strategies, has approved mix-and-match vaccinations in certain conditions.
Dr. Swaminathan also reiterated her point on Twitter after the briefing.
Individuals should not decide for themselves, public health agencies can, based on available data. Data from mix and match studies of different vaccines are awaited – immunogenicity and safety both need to be evaluated https://t.co/3pdYj4LUdz
— Soumya Swaminathan (@doctorsoumya) July 12, 2021
Another topic that was discussed was COVID-19 vaccine digital certification. This would be another way for health officials to track vaccinations.
The topic of vaccine passports came up during this portion of the briefing.
“WHO does not promote the use of vaccine passports. Vaccines should not be a precondition for travel because essentially it’s an inequitable situation,” said Dr. Swaminathan.
“No more talk about vaccinating low-income countries in 2023, 2024. This is no time for a lull, we want to see progress being built on and a surge of action to scale up the supply and sharing of lifesaving health tools”-@DrTedros #VaccinEquity https://t.co/P8JHFLZEY8
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 12, 2021
She went on to say that some countries still have very limited access to vaccines, which adds to the risk of introducing vaccine passports.