The German Standing Committee on Vaccination recommended this week that people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first COVID shot should be inoculated with either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine for their second shot in the battle against the delta variant of the coronavirus.
The panel said the immune response to the mixed dose protocol is “clearly superior” to a double dose of the AstraZeneca shots. Medical experts began looking at the mixed-dose approach after young women reported side effects with the AstraZeneca shots.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received mixed vaccines. While the German leader’s first vaccine was AstraZeneca, her second shot was a Moderna.
The director-general of the World Health Organization warned Friday that the delta variant is “dangerous and is continuing to evolve and mutate, which requires constant evaluation and careful adjustment of the public health response.”
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Delta has been detected in at least 98 countries and is spreading quickly in countries with low and high vaccination coverage.”
He said, “Public health and social measures like strong surveillance, strategic testing, early case detection, isolation and clinical care remain critical. As well as masking, physical distance, avoiding crowded places and keeping indoor areas well ventilated are the basis for the response. And second, the world must equitably share protective gear, oxygen, tests, treatments and vaccines.”
“I have urged leaders across the world to work together to ensure that by this time next year, 70% of all people in every country are vaccinated,” the WHO leader said. “This is the best way to slow the pandemic, save lives, drive a truly global economic recovery and along the way prevent further dangerous variants from getting the upper hand. By the end of this September, we’re calling on leaders to vaccinate at least 10% of people in all countries.”
On Saturday, India’s health ministry reported 44,111 new COVID cases, the sixth straight day that the South Asian nation has reported fewer than 50,000 new cases. The ministry also reported 738 deaths.
India has a total of 30.5 million COVID cases, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. Only the U.S. has more cases, with 33.7 million.
Early Saturday, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported more than 183 million global COVID cases.