“It’s kind of a dangerous trend where people are in an area with no data or evidence,” WHO chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan said. The comment was made during part of the briefing focused on booster injections.
Canada has yet to approve additional vaccines beyond the first two, but Canadian health jurisdictions have been using the COVID-19 mixed vaccine approach since June 1 and will continue to take that approach as per the Committee. Advisory Vaccination Recommendations (NACI).
NACI updated its second dose guidelines on June 1, 2021. It calls the mixed scenario a “mixed immunization schedule”.
« Emerging evidence indicates that mixed COVID–19 vaccination schedules with viral vector and mRNA with dosing intervals between 4 and 12 weeks have acceptable safety profiles which may be short associated–term increase in systemic reactogenicity, which is potentiallyd with shorter intervals between vaccines, ”the NACI statement read.
In a statement to Daily Hive on Tuesday, Health Canada said this had been done with other vaccines.
“The interchangeability of vaccines is not a new concept. Similar vaccines from different manufacturers are used when vaccine supply or public health programs change. Different vaccine products have been used to complement a series of vaccines against influenza, hepatitis A and others.«
The Ontario Ministry of Health told Daily Hive it will also continue to follow NACI’s recommendations.
“Ontario continues to follow the advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) which recommends that it is safe to mix vaccines based on studies in the UK, Spain and Germany that have revealed that the vaccine mixture is safe and produces a high level of protection against COVID-19 and its variants.
“The mixture of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), as well as the mixture of AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine, is safe, effective and allows more Ontarians to receive their second dose sooner,” said they added.
British Columbia health officials also released a similar statement to Daily Hive, saying the approach is working, but they will continue to monitor progress.
“The BC Public Health Unit collects and monitors data on a regular basis as the province’s immunization program progresses. Other countries are also taking this approach. We are closely monitoring how vaccines work here in British Columbia and around the world, and to date all vaccines have been shown to be very effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing new cases and outbreaks. “
Dr Swaminathan then reiterated his statement on Twitter.
Individuals should not decide for themselves, public health agencies can, based on the available data. Data from mix and match studies of different vaccines are awaited – both immunogenicity and safety should be assessed https://t.co/3pdYj4LUdz
– Soumya Swaminathan (@doctorsoumya) July 12, 2021