US-based Liberian Infectious Diseases Expert, Dr. Dougbeh Christopher Nyan has told a community COVID-19 vaccination promotion event that, “clinical scientific evidence have demonstrated that you can now take mix and match COVID-19 vaccines.
"If you took Pfizer-BioNTech, you can take Moderna as your booster; if you took Moderna, you can take Pfizer-BioNTech as your booster; if you took AstraZeneca [in Liberia and other African countries and elsewhere], you can take either Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson-n-Johnson as your booster," says Dr. Nyan.
Dr. Nyan made the statement in response to questions about booster vaccinations for those who took AstraZeneca in Liberia and other African countries where booster may not be available or are traveling to areas like the US where AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine [booster] is neither approved nor available.
He said, “taking a Mix-Match of the COVID-19 vaccination boosters is possible and that this has been found to be safe and effective, and provides even greater immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and its emerging variants.”
Making reference to regulations of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) regulations, Dr. Nyan also added that, “all adults and children 16 years and older irrespective of underlying health conditions are eligible to take the [appropriate] COVID-19 booster vaccination.” He also urged parents to vaccinate their children who are 5 years and older with the emergency-approved Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 Omicron and Delta variants are rapidly spreading around the world amidst increasing vaccine hesitancy in many communities, and the shortage of vaccine and testing kits in low-to-middle income countries.
The NIH-trained infectious diseases scientist thus “urged African governments to commit substantial financial resources to the production of vaccines and testing kits by African scientists so as to vaccinate our population and prepare for a more deadly COVID-19 variant that could cause havoc on the African continent in the future,” Dr. Nyan pleaded.
Addressing vaccine hesitancy at the Baltimore community pandemic awareness program organized by the People’s Community Lutheran Church, Dr. Nyan strongly urged the audience to practice what he described as the “Four Commandments of COVID-19 Prevention.”
“To break the transmission and end this pandemic, we must practice the Four Commandments of COVID-19 Prevention, that is, 1. Thou Shall Get Vaccinated and Boosted; 2. Thou Shall Wear Your Mask; 3. Thou Shall Wash Your Hands; and 4. Thou Shall Keep your Social-Physical Distance,” Dr. Nyan emphasized to a rousing “Amen.” A video clip of the message has since been circulating on various social media platforms.
Dr. Nyan, the inventor of a US-patented multiplex diagnostic test for infectious diseases and who is also the 2017 winner of the Africa Innovation Award Special Prize, said that “the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters can protect against infection, severe disease, hospitalization and death in combination with wearing of mask, washing of hands, and maintaining social-physical distance.”
The COVID-19 Delta and Omicron variants are now the major cause of infection, hospitalization and death mainly among unvaccinated persons. Clinical evidence has shown that infection with the Delta variant leads to sever infection, while Omicron is more transmissible with mild symptoms if vaccinated. While Africa remains largely unaffected, COVID-19 infection in Europe and the United States has spiked again.
Dr. Nyan is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Shufflex Biomed, leads the Diaspora COVID-19 Focus Group, and volunteers with the Maryland State Medical Reserve Corps which conducts COVID-19 vaccination, diagnostics, and pandemic awareness.