By Davis Mugabi
After review of evidence and in line with the World Health Organization interim recommendations for mixing and matching vaccines from different manufacturers for both the second and booster shots, the Ministry of Health NOW authorizes mixing and matching of vaccines for use in Uganda.
So far, three types of vaccines are considered in the mix and match
i. Viral Vector vaccines which contains instructions for making coronavirus antigens e.g. AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson.
ii. mRNA vaccines which use a code from SARS CoV 2 to prompt an immune response in recipients e.g. Pfizer and Moderna.
iii. Inactivated vaccines where the SARS CoV 2 virus is inactivated or killed using chemicals, heat or radiation e.g. Sinopharm and Sinovac.
Benefits of mixing and matching includes
i) mixing offers advantages in enhanced immune response and, therefore, anticipated enhanced protection.
ii) Mixing COVID-19 vaccines is emerging as a good way to get people the protection they need when faced with unpredictable supplies.
“Therefore, the Ministry would like to inform the population that same vaccine will remain our standard practice, but in the circumstances of extreme unavailability both in stock and pipeline mixing and matching may be undertaken. The Ministry of Health Will Issue detailed guidance to District Health Teams to implement this instruction,” Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng told the media today at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala.