‘Avoid The Mix-N-Match Trend’: Swaminathan WHO Chief Scientist
According to a WHO guideline, the mixing of vaccines should be avoided. While this is still being investigated into and under debate, the World Health Organisation is saying earlier studies should be ignored into this matter.
In fact, World Health Organisation (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has actually warned that mixing and matching Covid-19 vaccines from different manufacturers is a ‘dangerous trend’. She is further said that this trend could ‘lead to chaos as there is limited data on it on the practice’.
There is still confusion over why should this actually impact the immunity cycle, Ms. Swaminathan “really want to caution folks, because there is a tendency now for people in countries which enough availability of vaccines to voluntarily start thinking.” Evidence of desperation can be there in countries that are still short of vaccines.
She has warned against this mix-n-match trend. In May of 2020 however, the actual experiment of mixing vaccines from different manufacturers showed better immune response. For example, preliminary results from the first trial in Spain involving more than 600 people showed this. People were both vaccinated with the Oxford–AstraZeneca and Pfizer–BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines.
However, some countries have been seriously considering mixing the vaccines for various logical reasons. For one, UK feels mixing vaccines that target different parts of the virus can better prepare the immune system against a wider range of threats, including new variants.
Here, they are already using the system in a three-dose process, where if two doses are from the same batch, the third is coming from a different vaccine maker. Thailand too for example has chosen to mix its doses in a two-vaccine format. They are experimenting with a Chinese vaccine and a western one and would become the first nation to have done so.
India is not thinking of doing this. The scare around getting vaccination done in itself is huge in India, so much so, that there is general misconception that dosages taken from a government facility is bound to give you more side-effects than those taken from a private facility. India is going to start receiving multiple brands soon. These include Pfizer, Sputnik-V and Johnson& Johnson vaccines.