COVID-19: Mix and match studies of vaccines will be conducted in India as well, says central panel chief Dr NK Arora

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 20, 2021, 11:25 PM IST
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The government's COVID-19 working group plans to study the feasibility of administering doses of different vaccines to the same person. "Mix and match studies will be conducted in India as well, as soon as new vaccines come in," N. K. Arora, the head of the COVID working group, told Informist. "So, there can be a mix and match between Covishield and Sputnik, there can be a mix and match between Covishield and Covaxin or Sputnik," Arora said.

The purpose of conducting these studies, called interchangeability studies, is to offer the best protection to people and attain programmatic convenience. Preliminary results of a mix and match study in Spain found that administering Pfizer vaccine as the booster shot after first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective.

Similar studies are being conducted in the UK and Canada as well. India, which is predominantly administering AstraZeneca's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin vaccines, has just rolled out Russia's Sputnik-V vaccine. "I think in June or early July, larger consignments of Sputnik-V, both from imported and local manufactures, will come. Then it will be introduced in the national programme," Arora said Vaccines produced by Zydus Cadila and Novavax, and Gennova Biopharmaceuticals' mRNA are expected to be available from August.

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