India is going to start feasibility testing of a regimen that mixes two Covid19 vaccines to check if mixed vaccines have a better immune response to the virus. The testing is going to start soon within a few weeks according to Dr. NK Arora, chairman of Covid-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI).
“India may soon start in a few weeks testing the feasibility of a regimen that mixes 2 different doses of Covid vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to virus” Dr. NK Arora said to ANI.
He also mentioned that the Serum Institute of India producing Covishield will be ramping up their production by 50% and will be able to produce 10-12 crore doses. And similarly Bharat Biotech producing Covaxin will also increase its production and will be able to produce 10-12 crore doses by July.
“By August we will have 20-25 crore vaccine doses per month; another 5-6 crore doses from other manufacturing units or if we get international vaccine doses. The objective is to vaccinate 1 crore people every day” Dr. NK Arora added.
Feasibility testing of Mixed vaccines
The administration of two different Covid19 vaccines is still under research and its efficiency is still unclear. Given the circumstances where the country is experiencing acute vaccine shortages, it becomes more important to resolve supply constraints of vaccines so that people can get vaccine doses on time.
Last week in Siddharthnagar, Uttar Pradesh there has already been a case of negligence wherein two people were given Covishield as their first dose and Covaxin as their second dose.
On 28th May, Rajib Dasgupta, chairperson of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Jawaharlal Nehru University said that the effects of combining 2 different vaccines is being conducted and only a few initial results are available currently.
“The combination of vaccines is still under investigation and research. The potential mixing of what we call a homologous boost …homologous combination boost are vaccines that have similar mechanisms or similar platforms. Only one or two initial results are available from the trials across the world but those are interim results and not final results”, Dr Dasgupta said.
Dr Dasgupta also added that “There is a supply problem all across the world at present. The mixing of vaccines is not authorised in India and certainly not Covaxin or Covishield”