In India too, the trial will start on mixing two different vaccines of corona virus. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given the approval. In the trial, each dose of Kovishield and Covaxin will be applied and its effect on the people will be checked. This will be the first study of its kind in India. In some other countries including America, UK, research is already going on by mixing different vaccines. Let us understand how this trial will be done and what are its benefits.
Covishield & Covaxin Cocktail Study: According to Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog, CMC Vellore (Tamil Nadu) has been given permission for research to mix the doses of the vaccine.
In India too, the trial will start on mixing two different vaccines of corona virus. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given the approval. In the trial, each dose of Kovishield and Covaxin will be applied and its effect on the people will be checked. This will be the first study of its kind in India. In some other countries including America, UK, research is already going on by mixing different vaccines. Let us understand how this trial will take place and what are its benefits.
What will happen in the vaccine cocktail trial?
At present, the Christian Medical College (CMC) of Tamil Nadu has got permission for the trial of the vaccine cocktail. 300 healthy volunteers will be given one dose each of Covishield and Covaxin. The trial will be divided into two groups. Those in the first group will get the vaccine first and the people of the second group will be given Kovashield first. The second dose will be of a different vaccine.
When do you mix vaccines? What will happen in this case?
Even before Covid-19, many studies found that mixing vaccines triggers a better immune response. Generally, the vaccine mixing strategy provides efficiencies against supply fluctuations, better immune response and variants.
Covaccine is an inactivated whole virus vaccine whereas the Coveshield adenovirus platform based vaccine.
According to experts, only the anti-spike protein response will be triggered by Covishield. Using covaccin as a booster will further strengthen that response and may create a primary response against all SARS-CoV-2 proteins.
What is your opinion on mixing the vaccine so far?
The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the same vaccine should be used for both doses. If by mistake another dose of a different vaccine is taken, then there is no need to take an additional dose of any vaccine.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said after a study that mixing Kovidshield and Covaxin produced better immunity against Kovid.
Dr VK Paul has said earlier that ‘it can be done scientifically but more research is needed. It cannot be said with certainty that the dosage should be mixed.
What are the benefits of mixing vaccines?
Some research has said that doing so gives more protection against the corona virus.
Experts say that by mixing vaccines that attack different parts of the virus, the immune system can be better prepared. In this way, protection against new variants can also be found.
A big advantage of mixing vaccine doses will be that the vaccine shortage will go away. For countries that are facing a vaccine shortage, the benefit of mixing doses is in logistics, not in efficiencies. If combinations of multiple vaccines are approved in India, then the vaccination can be completed much faster.
Mixed Doses: What Does the Research Tell?
In some studies, it has been revealed that mixing different vaccines gives more protection against Covid-19. Researchers in Spain found that giving people both Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines is safe and triggers a better immune response.
Researchers from Oxford University found that there is no major risk if the two vaccines are mixed. But side effects can definitely increase. According to the article published in ‘The Lancet’, the researchers first gave the volunteers a dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca and then Pfizer-BioNtech. Side effects were more visible in such people, which also went away soon. Even after changing the sequence of the vaccine, there was no change in the results.
What are the rules on mixed doses in the rest of the world?
In many western countries, the vaccines of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca are being mixed.
In Canada, the first dose of the vaccine is being mixed with Pfizer or Moderna.
The US has allowed the mixing of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ Pfizer-BioNtech’s vaccine and the Moderna vaccine at an interval of 28 days.
Mix and match Covid-19 vaccine trial is going on in the UK as well.
AstraZeneca, the first dose in Finland, permission to give another vaccine.
In France, there is talk of giving the first dose of AstraZeneca (Covishield) to people over the age of 55 and the second dose of an mRNA vaccine.
Apart from this, vaccine mixing has either been approved or trials are going on in many countries like China, Russia Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden.
[Attribution to NBT]