Government to adopt the mixing of COVID-19 vaccines after study


Government to adopt the mixing of COVID-19 vaccines after study

Kenya hopes to have fully vaccinated all the 26 million adults in the country by the end of 2022.

This appearing like a mirage given that five months since rollout of vaccination programme only just over 2 percent of the adult population has been vaccinated.

Statistics show that 1.04 million people have received the first dose of Astrazeneca jab. Of this, 633 thousand have received the second dose, their immune reaching a level that reduces chances of complications and death should they contract covid-19.

With the limited supplies of the vaccines, 416 thousand remain without a second dose, at a time only about 50 thousand doses remain in stock across the country.

A study in South Korea could turn the fortunes for the country. 499 medical workers participated in a vaccine mix and match study.

100 of them received Astrazeneca as the first dose and Pfizer as the second dose.

200 participants received Pfizer vaccines for both doses while 199 received two Astrazeneca doses.

The outcome showing that persons that mixed Pfizer and Astrazeneca jabs depicted an improved immune response by six times compared to those that got both jabs from Astrazeneca.

The trials informed by search for an alternative after reports in South Korea that persons that go an Astrazeneca shot complained of rare blood clots.

The ministry of health is now considering this option..

Ups Dr. Patrick Amoth – Ag. Director General:

“It has emerged if you get ax as first dose and Pfizer as second dose you get better response. Because of the scarcity, if we get Pfizer vaccine nothing stops us from mix and match,” Dr. Patrick Amoth, the Acting Director General, Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

Last month a similar study in the UK returned similar results of success, showing that a mix of AstraZeneca jab followed by Pfizer produced best T-cell responses, and a higher antibody response than a mix of Pfizer jab followed by an AstraZeneca shot.

The world Health Organisation is however yet to clear the mix-and-match approach to vaccination citing limited data. But Amoth says countries can make their choice.

“Even though WHO has given advisory that data is low who gives advisory and member states are free to implement theor own interventions based on their local contexts.” Dr Amoth added.

This as the UK government promised to send 817,000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccine to Kenya in the coming days.

Half of them will be shared directly to Kenya while the other half will be through the Vaccine sharing programme COVAX.

The announcement came hours ahead of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s meeting with UK prime minister Boris Johnson in London.

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Story By Sam Gituku
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