Did the WHO advise people against taking the booster dose, and the mixing of vaccines?
Take a look at the viral claims and find out what the FACTS really are!
Claim : WHO Advised Against Booster Dose + Mixing Of Vaccines!
Antivaxxers have sharing videos of WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan saying that “there is no medical evidence that a third dose is necessary” and that it is a “data-free, evidence-free zone as far as mix-and-match” of vaccines is concerned.
There are a few videos being circulating, so we shared one example, together with two examples of messages that accompany the videos.
WHO said there is no medical evidence that booster shot is necessary and advised against the mix and match of vaccines – calling it a dangerous trend since there is very little information on doing so.
Truth : WHO Advice On Booster Dose + Mixing Of Vaccines Out Of Context!
This is yet another effort by antivaxxers to discourage people from protecting themselves against COVID-19.
The truth is – WHO’s advice on the booster dose and the mixing of vaccines was taken out of context.
Here are the facts…
Fact #1 : The Video Was Recorded On 12 July 2021
First, it is important to note that the video was a slice of the COVID-19 Virtual Press Conference conducted by the WHO on 12 July 2021.
It is now the end of November 2021. Things have changed since then – there is more data on vaccine breakthrough, and the mixing of vaccines (heterologous vaccination).
It is irresponsible and misleading to resurrect an old video to convey a narrative that is contrary to what we know today.
Fact #2 : Viral Messages Are False
The accompanying messages are deliberately lying to you about what the WHO actually said.
You will realise that if you read the entire transcript of the 12 July 2021 WHO press conference, like I did.
- WHO did not say that there is no medical evidence that booster dose is necessary
- WHO did not advise against the mixing and matching of vaccines
I will provide more context in the next two segments…
Fact #3 : WHO Called For Sharing Of Vaccines Over Booster Dose
The WHO’s position at that time was that the limited supply of vaccines should be used to vaccinated those who are unvaccinated, rather than used as booster doses.
In that press conference, Dr. Ann Lindstrand pointed out that while there is a decline [in antibodies], you still have good protection as long as you have a full course of any WHO EUL vaccines.
She also said that it is “more important to be able to vaccinated a larger global population” than “to use the limited supply of doses” as booster doses.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan agreed with Dr. Lindstrand and pointed out that the booster dose programme for the 11 high and upper-middle income countries will take up 800 million doses of vaccine at a time when many front-line and healthcare workers remain unvaccinated in other countries.
Fact #4 : WHO Advised INDIVIDUALS Against Mixing Of Vaccines
The WHO’s position at that time is clear – individuals should not mix and match their vaccines as they please.
Dr. Soumya Swaminathan was specifically referring to “people who say they’ve taken one and they are planning to take another one“.
She goes on to say that, “There are studies going on; we need to wait for that and maybe it will be a very good approach“.
And she warned that, “It will be a chaotic situation in countries if citizens start deciding when and who should be taking a second, third or fourth dose“.
She was clearly talking about individuals taking vaccinations into their own hands. She clarified that later in a tweet :
To clarify, I warned against individuals mixing and matching vaccines on their own.
Fact #5 : Some Vaccines Lose Protection Faster Than Others
It is now the end of November 2021, and studies have shown that the protection from some vaccines wane faster than others.
For example, the RECoVaM study showed that protection against COVID-19 infections dropped significantly for the Pfizer and Sinovac vaccines after a few months.
But as I explained before, that drop in efficacy is not really as important as the vaccine’s protection against hospitalisation and death.
However, their data also showed that the Sinovac vaccine’s protection against ICU admissions dropped very low.
So giving Sinovac vaccine recipients a Pfizer booster dose is clearly the right decision.
Fact #6 : Mixing Vaccines Lead To Better Protection
At least three teams looked into the mixing of COVID-19 vaccines – heterologous vaccination, and they all concluded that it produced BETTER protection.
- More than 100,000 people received a dose of AstraZeneca, followed by an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer or Moderna)
- Those who received this mixed were 68% less likely to get a symptomatic infection.
- Those who received two doses of AstraZeneca were 50% less likely to get a symptomatic infection.
- Those who received AstraZeneca + Pfizer were 88% less likely to get infected by COVID-19.
- This efficacy is similar to two doses of Pfizer.
- Healthcare workers who received a mix of AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines had 50% lower COVID-19 infection rates compared to those who received two doses of Pfizer.
Both the booster dose, and the mixing of vaccines, are not only SAFE, they offer BETTER protection against COVID-19.
Do not let these lies by antivaxxers prevent you from protecting yourself and your family against COVID-19.
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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