A chief scientist at the World Health Organisation has warned against an emerging practice of mixing Covid-19 vaccines. Speaking during an online briefing, Soumya Swaminathan described the practice of combining vaccines from different manufacturers as a, “dangerous trend”.
She says a lack of safety data means countries should refrain from random decision-making on vaccine boosters and combinations.
“It’s a little bit of a dangerous trend here. We are in a data-free, evidence-free zone as far as mix and match. It will be a chaotic situation in countries if citizens start deciding when and who will be taking a second, a third and a fourth dose.”
Her warning comes as Thailand approves the AstraZeneca vaccine as a booster shot for healthcare workers and other vulnerable groups, as well as a second dose for those who’ve received a first dose of Sinovac. The Chinese vaccine Sinovac has come under close scrutiny recently as hundreds of fully vaccinated healthcare workers test positive for Covid-19, with 2 deaths.
The majority of the country’s healthcare workers have been vaccinated with CoronaVac from the Sinovac Biotech manufacturer in China.
In what appears to be a significant deviation from the government’s vaccination policy, the National Communicable Disease Committee says AstraZeneca will now be used as a third booster shot for medical workers, and will also be used as a second dose in people who’ve received Sinovac as their first dose. The government also plans to use 1.5 million donated doses of the Pfizer vaccine to provide healthcare workers with a third, or booster, dose. Pfizer will also be administered to high-risk groups and foreign diplomats.
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