WHO quote on mRNA vaccines was out of context: Kyle

Durham Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Kyle, yesterday clarified that on July 12, a comment from World Health Organization Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan was taken out of context regarding vaccine mixing.

Initial headlines reported that vaccine mixing is a dangerous trend.

“Dr. Swaminathan was asked by reporters if booster vaccines were necessary and in her reply, she cautioned that countries need to focus on fully vaccinating the global population before discussing boosters or receiving three or four doses of multiple brands. She is quoted as saying “it is a bit of a dangerous trend”, referring to the trend of receiving three or four doses as scientists do not yet know if booster shots are necessary for additional protection and this takes vaccines away from those who need it most. Unfortunately, the media used this quote out of context with various headlines claiming mixing and matching vaccines is dangerous according to the World Health Organization,” said Dr. Kyle.

He said these comments have created some confusion within the community leading individuals to question the practice of mixing mRNA vaccines. The Ontario Ministry of Health has confirmed that the mixing of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna), as well as mixing AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccine, is safe, effective and enables more Ontarians to receive their second dose sooner. Ontario continues to follow the advice of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) which recommends that it is safe to mix these vaccines based on studies from the UK, Spain and Germany that have found that mixing vaccines is safe and produces a strong immune response.

“There is no change in practice related to vaccine interchangeability in Durham Region, Ontario or Canada. The province will continue to monitor the data working with Health Canada, NACI and the federal government,” added Dr. Kyle.

Please visit www.durham.ca/covidvaccines for the latest information on Covid-19 vaccines in Durham Region.

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