South Africa Approves Mix-and-Match Covid Vaccines 

South Africa’s Ministry of Health now says persons over the age of 18 will be allowed to mix their vaccines.

This means that for instance, those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be eligible to receive a booster dose of Pfizer.

This will reduce the waiting period between the first and second dose.

For the Pfizer Vaccine, the interval between the first and the second doses will be reduced from six weeks to three weeks.

The move to mix vaccines is not new, as it has been practiced in parts of Europe and in the US.

Until recently, scientists around the world have been divided on the merits and safety of mixing vaccines.

So far, close to 31 million Covid doses have been administered in South Africa, with officials hoping these new measures will boost the uptake.

This come as researchers have shown that the ‘mix and match’ move is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 – roughly matching or even exceeding the performance of mRNA vaccines.

 Immunologist Martina Sester at Saarland University in Homburg – Germany says the high antibody levels and other strong immune responses elicited by mix-and-match regimens suggested they could offer good protection against the disease.

“I was delighted to see that it’s as effective as one would expect. This is really good news and this will certainly have influence on clinical practice.”

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