New Delhi: India is planning to do a study on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination if two different coronavirus vaccines are administered to a patient for their two doses. This comes after several reports of a massive shortage of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
“India may in few weeks start testing the feasibility of a regimen that mixes two different doses of COVID vaccines to see if it helps boost the immune response to the virus," said Dr N K Arora, Chairman of COVID-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI).
Earlier, in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district, due to medical negligence, 20 people were administered the first dose of Coveshield and the second dose of Covaxin.
Talking about this incident, Dr Mubasheer Ali, Senior Consultant - Intensive Care Specialist, Apollo TeleHealth says, “It is not dangerous. That being said, the WHO has stated that in truly exceptional situations, in which the first-dose vaccine cannot be determined or is no longer available, either vaccine may be given to complete the vaccination series. But in normal circumstances, you should receive the same vaccine product for both doses.”
Mixing of different COVID-19 vaccines might actually be a good idea, according to Dr Chandrashekhar T, Chief Intensivist, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital Vashi.
“Mixing and cocktailing of vaccines as per studies is not dangerous. This technique is being tried and tested in some countries, and even in India, there are some experts who vouch for the mixing and cocktailing of vaccines. However, there is no evidence or study on the effects of mixing Covishield and Covaxin in India,” says Dr Chandrashekhar.
Talking about similar experiments in other parts of the world, Dr Chandrashekhar shares, “In countries like Canada, Finland, Norway, etc., the mixing of vaccines has been done between Covishield and Pfizer-Biotech vaccine.”
Dr Chandrashekhar further believes that cocktailing of vaccines might actually give better immunity. More study on it however is needed to ascertain it.
“There are several studies that indicate that mixing and cocktailing of vaccines help in covering a broader spectrum of mutations and so helps in providing a broader immunity to people.”
Possible side-effects of mixing different COVID-19 vaccines are headache, body ache, and fever.