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WHO warns against mixing and matching COVID vaccines

 WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan (Reuters)

The World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist has advised against ‘mixing and matching’ COVID-19 vaccines from different manufacturers.

Speaking during an online briefing, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said that there is little data on the health impact of mixing different vaccines.

“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 adding that: “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.”

  

When vaccines are mixed and matched, two doses of two different vaccines are used to immunize people.

At the moment, there are at least five vaccines widely administered around the world. Most of them such as the AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Sputnik V are administered in two doses with pre-decided intervals between both the shots. However, the Russian Sputinik V has a single-dose shot called Sputnik V Lite and the Johnson & Johnson shot is also a single-shot vaccine.

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