AZ and Pfizer vaxed can get third boost – mixes allowed

Otis Daniels_Finck
Swakopmund [email protected]

The health ministry issued a notice that people fully vaccinated with AstraZeneca (AZ) and Pfizer can now also have a third ‘booster’ jab.

This announcement comes a month after the ministry introduced a third dose of Sinopharm. “All Covid-19 vaccines available in Namibia have been associated with substantial reductions in the risk of severe disease as well as preventing death due to Covid-19. However, scientific evident suggests that Covid-19 vaccine-induced immunity wanes with time; thus, additional doses are advised to boos the required level of protection against Covid-19 disease severity,” stated health executive director Ben Nangombe.

Besides the third jab now also for AZ and Pfizer, the ministry also provided guidance on the “mix-matching” of vaccines in warranted circumstances. "Booster doses are also allowed. The first priority however is to vaccinate the unvaccinated," said Nangombe in the statement.

The only reason booster doses (or third dose) is being permitted is to enhance the immune response to establish a sufficient level of protection for especially the immunocompromised and older adults. These individuals can receive the booster voluntarily one to three months after being fully vaccinated with the primary doses. Those who are 18 years or older, and are fully vaccinated, and want a third jab, should also be allowed, said the notice.

As for mixing and matching vaccines, findings, according to the ministry, have shown that people who receive two different Covid-19 vaccines apparently generate “potent immune responses”. It is however recommended that mixing be considered in cases of severe adverse reaction to the first dose, or shortage of vaccines, or if a person is traveling to a country where a vaccine they received is not recognized, a vaccine recognized in the destination country, may be administered – “provided that travelers present documents as evidence of the intention to travel”. Mix-combinations suggested by the ministry are a Pfizer dose after the first two doses of Sinopharm (or AZ), or if the first dose was AZ and the second Pfizer, then the third dose should be Pfizer.