Jul 13, 2021
By Jane Brown
There is every indication mixing COVID-19 vaccine first and second doses is both safe and effective, following a controversial and confusing statement by the chief scientist of the World Health Organization.
In an online briefing Monday, Soumya Swaminathan suggested to reporters that mixing and matching is dangerous because there is not currently enough data to support it. She added 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.
Swaminathan later clarified on Twitter she was warning against individuals deciding to mix and match on their own, but that public health agencies can decide on mixing and matching based on available data.
Canadian experts are defending Canada’s mix and match approach.
Karina Gould is the federal development minister and points to the experts on the National Advisory Committee on Immunization as being some of the best minds in their field.
“I was actually participating at a meeting on behalf of Canada…and they were actually praising Canada’s strategy for having wide first dose coverage as well as the results they were getting of the studies that were being done in terms of the mixing,” Gould explained.
Here in Ontario, a statement from the Ministry of Health reads:
“Ontario continues to follow the advice of the National Advisory Commitee on Immunization which recommends it’s safe to mix vaccines based on studies from the UK, Spain and Germany that all found mixing is safe and produces a strong immune response.”
Canadian residents who received a first dose of AstraZeneca, Prizer or Moderna COVID vaccine may received a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna.
AstraZeneca first dose recipients may also receive AstraZeneca as their second dose.