'India may start testing effects of mixed Covid-19 vaccines in a few weeks': Govt panel head
- “India may soon start in a few weeks testing feasibility of a regimen that mixes two different doses of Covid vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to virus,”
India may soon start testing an immunisation routine that mixes two different types of Covid-19 vaccines, in order to see if it helps enhance immune response to the virus, Dr NK Arora, chairman of Covid-19 working group under National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), told news agency ANI.
“India may soon start in a few weeks testing feasibility of a regimen that mixes two different doses of Covid vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to virus,” ANI said quoting Arora.
Dr Rajib Dasgupta, chairperson of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at Jawaharlal Nehru University, told the news agency on May 28 that a study on the effects of combining two different vaccines is being conducted. Dasgupta added that only a few initial results are available from across the world, and none are final results.
"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," he said.
The United Kingdom initiated a study of the potential effects of mixing two different types of vaccines in April 2021, under the aegis of Oxford Vaccine Group’s Com-Cov vaccine trial, which seeks to research on combining vaccines. The Com-Cov study combined an adenovirus vaccine, AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, with an mRNA technology based one, Moderna or Novavax vaccines. Adults over 50 who had been inoculated with their first dose were invited to participate in the study. This combination of two vaccines using different platforms (adenovirus and mRNA) is called a ‘heterologous boost’ and immunologists believe many heterologous boost may indeed help in enhancing efficiency of certain vaccines.