Saudi health ministry says mix and match of COVID-19 vaccines is safe

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health on Wednesday assured the safety to mix doses of different COVID-19 vaccines which have already been approved by the Kingdom against the emerging COVID-19 virus.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted the official spokesman for the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr. Mohamed Al-Abdali stated that the procedure had been authorised by the World Health Organization (WHO) in several countries.

“Incorrect interpretations are being circulated in the media about what was issued by the World Health Organization about mixing vaccines, and we confirm the safety of mixing the vaccines approved in the Kingdom, based on international research and specialized scientific committees, as this procedure is authorized by the World Health Organization and a number of world’s countries,” Dr. al-Abdali tweeted.

On July 12, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of the dangers of combining vaccines against “COVID-19” produced by different companies.

“We receive a lot of queries from people who say they’ve taken one and they’re planning to take another one so it’s a little bit of a dangerous trend here where people are in a data-free, evidence-free zone as far as mix-and-match… there’s limited data on mix-and-match,” Soumya Swaminathan, a scientist at the World Health Organization, said during an online briefing.

On June 24, 2021, Saudi Arabia’s national scientific committee for infectious diseases gave its approval for using different COVID-19 vaccines for the first and second doses.

So far, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson, and Moderna vaccines have been approved in Saudi Arabia.

More than 20 million doses of vaccine have been administered in the country so far, which means that at least 58 percent of its population has been vaccinated with a single dose.

The Saudi ministry had launched the first phase of receiving the vaccine on December 17, 2020, while the second phase was launched on February 18, 2021, which witnessed the expansion of the vaccination process in all regions.

The total number of people infected with the virus in the Kingdom reached 503,714 cases, including 484,883 cases of recovery, and 8,006 deaths, since the outbreak of the pandemic in Saudi Arabia, according to the Ministry of Health figures on Wednesday.