Representative pic
Representative pic

The Centre today said that it is scientifically possible that an individual gets the first dose of one vaccine and the second dose of another vaccine, but it will take time to decide whether it can be recommended or not.

Niti Aayog member VK Paul while addressing the media said, "It is plausible. But there need to be more studies. It can't be said definitively that mixing of doses can be practised. There is no robust scientific evidence. Only time will tell whether it will be done in future or not, It will depend on international studies, World Health Organization findings etc. Our experts are also continuously studying."

A recent UK study has found that it is safe to mix doses of different types of vaccines, but there will be many side effects, the study revealed.

Mr Paul further said that, "One shot of one type produces antibodies and the second shot from another will increase that. Scientifically, there is no problem."

Currently, in India, Covishield and Covaxin are the two vaccines being administered against COVID-19. Both the vaccines consist of two cycles, the second dose of which is known as the booster dose. The health ministry has repetitively emphasised that the second dose of the same vaccine should be taken.

The UK study was conducted on over around 2,000 volunteers and in the mix and match approach, they were given one Oxford vaccine shot and another Pfizer; another combination of Moderna and Novavax was also tried. However in the study, only the immune response of the volunteers was tested and the adverse reactions were short-lived.

Till date, there has been no such study yet in India mixing Covaxin and Covishield. The Centre recently had said that Covishield's first dose offers more protection than Covaxin's first dose and hence the second dose of Covishield can be delayed to 12 to 16 weeks.

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Free Press Journal