Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony said Thursday, that mixing vaccines increase their effectiveness to better protect persons against COVID-19.
He said there are over 20 studies that have verified this. Using the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, he explained that the first and second doses of the vaccines have different components.
This itself is a mixing of vaccines and has resulted in the efficacy being more than 90 per cent, the health minister noted.
“Scientifically, however, it has been shown that if you mix and match the vaccine, that you can get better efficacy. And that’s really the driving reason for people to mix and match…it is a good strategy and now most of the countries are now suggesting that they can mix and match and they have been doing so. And when you mix and match that is also acceptable as a primary course.”
At a recent meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), the mixing of vaccines was the point of discussion.
“In that meeting, they had a detailed presentation on mixing and matching. They have reviewed several studies pertaining to mixing and matching and they are going to revise the WHO’s guidance pertaining to mixing and matching,” Dr. Anthony said.
Guyana began mixing vaccines when it rolled out its booster dose campaign a few weeks ago. The vaccines being administered are AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Pfizer, and Johnson and Johnson.
For persons who took the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, a booster shot of the Sinopharm vaccine is recommended 52 days after the dose. Those who took the Sinopharm vaccine, can take the same vaccine as their booster shot three to six months after the second jab.
It is advised that persons who have been immunised using the AstraZeneca vaccine, can receive an MRNA vaccine, which should be taken six months after the second dose. A shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine can be used as a booster shot for the Sputnik V vaccine.
To date, some 4,448 persons have received their booster shots.