The World Health Organization has advised [people against using a mix and match of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by different companies and termed the tendency to be a “dangerous trend” because of the unavailability of data about the impact of such mixing and matching on the health of people.
The was said on Monday by WHO’s chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Monday at an online briefing.
“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,” Swaminathan said.
“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,” she added.
The WHO said that booster shots for their vaccinated populations should not be ordered by the rich countries even while there are countries that are yet to get nay Covid-19 vaccines.
There is again a rise in deaths because of the pandemic, said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, with the Delta variant fats becoming the dominant variant of the coronavirus. There were many countries that have not yet received enough vaccines for even vaccinating health workers, Tedros said.
“The Delta variant is ripping around the world at a scorching pace, driving a new spike in COVID-19 cases and death,” Tedros told a briefing and noted that the Delta variant that was first identified in India has not spread to more than 104 countries.
“The global gap in COVID-19 vaccine supply is hugely uneven and inequitable. Some countries and regions are actually ordering millions of booster doses, before other countries have had supplies to vaccinate their health workers and most vulnerable,” said Tedros.
Tedros specifically pointed out to the two American Covid-19 vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna as being the companies that were pushing for providing booster shots in such countries where the levels of vaccination among the general population is already very high such as in the United States. Instead such companies need to channel their vaccine shots to COVAX, the global vaccine sharing program that was created to primarily help out the middle-income and poorer countries to access vaccines, Tedros said.
So far there is no evidence presented to the WHO that conclusively shows the necessity of booster shots for the individuals who have already been administered a full dose of vaccines, said the WHO’s chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan. Currently there is no evidence of any need for a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine even though it could become necessary one day.
“It has to be based on the science and the data, not on individual companies declaring that their vaccines need to be administered as a booster dose,” she said.
“Right now, we are condemning hundreds of millions of people to having no protection. We will look back in anger, and we will look back in shame”, if countries use precious doses on booster shots, at a time when vulnerable people are still dying without vaccines elsewhere,” said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies programme.
“These are people who want to have their cake and eat it, and then they want to make some more cake and eat it too,” he said
(Adapted from TelegraphIndia.com)