WHO believes idea of mixing Covid-19 vaccines is interesting but more data is needed
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GENEVA - The idea of mixing different vaccines against Covid-19 for boosting the immune response is quite interesting but more research data is needed, including on Russia's Sputnik V, World Health Organization (WHO) Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan said in an interview with Sputnik.
"This is again an area where knowledge is evolving, it is a very interesting concept of using two different vaccine platforms to try to stimulate the immune system, and some immunologists believe this could be a good approach. But again we need to see real data from the studies," Swaminathan said.
At present, the WHO has only data from studies of AstraZeneca followed by mRNA vaccines but is aware of similar studies going on for Sinovac and Sinopharm followed by mRNA vaccines, and for the combination of Sputnik V and AstraZeneca, the expert noted.
"If there is a shortage of supply and we need to give a second dose to an individual we can use a different vaccine because so far from our experience we have not seen any severe bad effects. So it could be done in certain situations, the government can take such a decision. But we need proper studies to see which are the best combinations, what should be the gap, which one should be first and which one should be second," Swaminathan explained.
The WHO chief scientist emphasized that more research on mixing and matching vaccines should be carried out across the world.
"And I am sure that [taking into consideration] the experience of Russia that administered 90 million doses of the vaccine, it would be great to see also studies coming up in longer-term follow-up, [to assess] efficacy, infection, safety of combination," Swaminathan concluded.