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Mixed doses of covishield and covaxin can do wonders: ICMR

Mixed doses of covishield and covaxin is not only safe, but provides better immune response.

Since inception of the vaccination programme in India, everyone is in doubt if receiving mixed doses of both the vaccines would be safe! And answer to this question is a big YES. A recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research has made it evident that mixing doses of covishield and covaxin is not only safe, but elicit better immune response.

The study was conducted on 18 individuals who by mistake had received separate doses of covishield and covaxin in Uttar Pradesh at a gap of 42 days. Result of the study revealed that immunogenicity created by the mixed dose was superior against the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants and the neutralising antibody response was quite higher in comparison to those who received two doses of the same vaccine. However, study is yet to be peer viewed.

“This is the first report of heterologous immunisation with an adenovirus vector based and an inactivated whole virion vaccine in humans demonstrating safety and significantly improved immunogenicity,” said the study.

According to ICMR, the study has certain limitations that include small sample size and the follow up period was only 60-70 days after first dose of vaccination. The other limitation was unavailability of baseline serological and immunological data of the participants. However, despite inclusion of some high median age participants in the study, the study revealed that mixing doses of the two vaccines based on different platforms is safe for people.

Heterologous immunisation (mixing doses), if found successful will not only overcome the shortfall of vaccines but will remove hesitancy from people’s minds about purported complications of mixed doses.

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