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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Mixing vaccines not protocol yet, no change in schedule of two-dose vaccines: Centre

The government said that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of administering the doses of the same vaccine should be followed.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 1, 2021 9:22:20 pm
Mumbai covid newsNITI Aayog (Health) member Dr V K Paul said Covishield and Covaxin schedule in India is of two doses. (Express Photo)

The government Tuesday stated that mixing of Covid-19 vaccines is not the protocol yet and insisted that there is no change in the schedule of two-dose vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. It also said that Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of administering the doses of the same vaccine should be followed.

While addressing a press briefing, NITI Aayog (Health) member Dr V K Paul presented two scenarios on the mixing of Covid vaccines. “On the one hand, it might be possible that mixing of vaccines can lead to bad reactions… On the other, science also indicates that mixing of vaccines could be useful and lead to an increase in immunity but a severe reaction and harm cannot be ruled out and therefore there is research going on in other countries,” he said.

Earlier, The Indian Express had reported that government may begin “in a few weeks” testing the feasibility of a regimen that mixes two different vaccines to see if it helps boost immune response to the virus.

“This is a scientific matter and till the time it does not get sorted, we will say it is an unresolved scientific question over which there is no change in our programme,” he said. “It is science’s curiosity that will be settled by science and we will give the needed inputs in the process. Till then, there is no mixing of vaccines… our schedule is very clear. Please stick to the SOP that doses of the same vaccine are to be given. If a change is to be made, we will share it from the same platform.”

Paul further said Covishield and Covaxin schedule in India is of two doses.

“First dose (of Covishield) and then, after 12 weeks, the second dose. There is absolutely no change. Covaxin also has a two-dose schedule. First dose and then second dose after 4-6 weeks. This schedule is being followed to take our vaccination schedule forward and no confusion must be created on this,” he said.

ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava, meanwhile, said: “There is no shortage of vaccines. By mid-July or August, we will have enough doses to vaccinate 1 crore people per day.”

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry, said, “Active cases are down by 50%, there is a 1.3 lakh decrease in active cases in a day. In 30 states/UTs, cases have been consistently declining for one week. This is a positive trend.”

He added, “A total of 1,27,000 cases have been reported in the last 24 hours. Since May 28, the country is reporting less than 2 lakh cases. There is a decline of infection in the country.”

The Centre also said that the case positivity rate is now less than 5 per cent in 344 districts across the country.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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