ICMR says mixing Covaxin and Covishield gives better results

August 9, 2021 0 By FM

The Indian Council of Medical Research said on Sunday that a combination of Covishield and Covaxin gives better protection to the human body than two doses of the same vaccine.

The study was conducted on 18 people from Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharth Nagar, who had received two doses of two different vaccines inadvertently. The council also said that the findings have not been peer-reviewed yet.

According to the finding of the study, immunisation with a combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine, followed by inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also elicited better immunogenicity.

Experts had previously raised problems against a combination model because Covishield, manufactured by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, is the adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine and Covaxin, developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, is the whole virus vaccine. Covishield and Covaxin belong to two different types.

The issue of mixing vaccines is sensitive as the World Health Organization has warned that individuals should not decide on mixing vaccines. NITI Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul had earlier said that theoretically there is no problem in mixing two vaccines as the second dose in such a case will work as a booster shot.

Further research is needed to find out more about vaccine combinations. The subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has in July recommended a trial of mixing Covishield and Covaxin, which will be conducted by the Christian Medical College in Vellore on 300 healthy volunteers.

The study was titled ‘Serendipitous Covid-19 Vaccine-Mix in Uttar Pradesh, India: Safety and Immunogenicity Assessment of a Heterologous Regime’ and has been uploaded on medRxiv. The reaction of the 18 people was compared to 40 recipients of two doses of Covishield and 40 recipients of two doses of Covaxin, news agency PTI reported. The study duration was from May to June 2021, it said.