COVID-19 Vaccine | India may allow mixing of Covishield and Sputnik jabs
NTAGI has suggested that people be allowed to freely choose their COVID-19 vaccine - as long as the vaccine platform is the same. e.g. Covishield and Sputnik V or Pfizer and Moderna jabs.
August 03, 2021 / 10:20 AM IST
(Representative Image: AP)
The Indian government is considering allowing people to “freely choose” mixed vaccine jabs for COVID-19 vaccines – as long as both options are of similar platforms, Mint reported.
For example, individuals would be able to choose the first jab of Covishield and the second jab of Sputnik V — or vice versa, as both vaccines are adenovirus-based, or mix Pfizer and Moderna jabs, which are mRNA based.
The move would address vaccine supply constraints and comes amid “growing evidence” that mixing vaccines is “not only safe but also produces a strong immune response”, the report said.
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This was suggested by the COVID-19 working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) and officials told the paper “final decision would be taken after considering scientific evidence”.
NTAGI Chairman NK Arora said, “We would allow mixing and matching of some COVID-19 vaccines if a common platform for development is used”, but added the government continues to encourage using the same vaccine for both doses.
Arora said the “main purpose” of mixing and matching is to make vaccination easy. “People who are not getting the second dose of the same vaccine due to reasons ranging from unavailability of the brand to access may go for mix-and-match. A formal advisory in this regard will soon be released,” he added.
An NTAGI meet is scheduled for later in August.
Notably, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its interim recommendations said that mixing of recombinant vaccines like Covishield and Sputnik does not require an additional dose of either vaccine. It further said that the first dose of recombinant vaccine (e.g. Covishield/Sputnik) followed by a second jab of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer/Moderna) showed “higher neutralizing antibody levels and T cell-mediated immune response” compared to both doses being recombinant or mRNA.For full coverage on the coronavirus, pandemic click here