Studies will say if vaccine doses can be mixed, says NITI Aayog official | India News

Studies will say if vaccine doses can be mixed, says NITI Aayog official | India News
NEW DELHI: It is feasible in theory that it is alright to mix first and second doses of different vaccines, but robust scientific evidence is still lacking for India to make this a permissible practice, said leading government health expert Dr V K Paul,
It is scientifically plausible and studies are going on evaluate such a possibility, said Dr Paul, who is NITI Aayog member health on Saturday. He said the evidence abroad and in India is being evaluated.
“It is scientifically plausible but more studies needs to be done. 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,” Dr Paul said.
“One shot of one type produces antibodies and the second shot from another will increase that. Scientifically, there is no problem but we need evidence based data to see that happening,” he added.
Of late, some emerging studies have shown that mixing different vaccines may in fact help better protect against Covid-19. For instance, researchers in Spain found vaccinating people with both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines is safe and produces a potent immune response. Findings of the study are yet to be published in a journal.
India is currently administering Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V and there has to be some study or evidence from mixing of these doses before such an advisory can be considered by the government here.
So far, the government has maintained that one should take two doses of the same brand of Covid vaccine.
Studies have also shown 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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