Indian Gov’t May Opt for Mixing of Vaccines in Booster Dose

© REUTERS / NIHARIKA KULKARNINidhi Shah, 32, receives her first dose of COVISHIELD, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India, May 3, 2021
Nidhi Shah, 32, receives her first dose of COVISHIELD, a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India, at a vaccination centre in Mumbai, India, May 3, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.12.2021
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Amid growing cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 December announced that the country would administer booster doses (third dose of the vaccine) to healthcare and frontline workers as well as people above 60 years of age with comorbidities from 10 January in 2022.
The Indian Health and Family Welfare Ministry may recommend that the booster dose be different from the one administered for the first two doses, says a report published in the Indian Daily Economics Times on Monday.
Currently, India is administering Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield, the indigenous Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, and Russia's Sputnik V. However, the current experiment of mixing doses involves Covaxin and Covishield only.
According to the Health Ministry's data, almost 580 million people are fully vaccinated, while 830 million have received the first dose.
According to senior officials in the federal Health Ministry, the booster dose of the same vaccine does not yield good results when jabs are mixed.
"The decision to administer booster doses to a few categories was due to the relatively low supply of Covaxin", the daily has reported.
However, the final call on mixing the vaccines in booster doses will only be announced after a brief analysis of the results, which will be published soon.
This is not the first time that a trial on the mixing of vaccines is carried out. In August, India's health regulator, the Drugs Controller General (DCGI), approved a proposal from the Christian Medical College (CMC) to carry out trials on the mixed-use of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.
However, the study could not find an adequate number of trial participants who had taken Covaxin.
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