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India to soon test mixing two different COVID-19 vaccines

India may soon test mixing two different coronavirus vaccines to gauge whether the new concoction boosts immunity against the virus. The feasibility of the regimen might be tested by both using vaccines that are currently being administered and those that are in the pipeline.

According to the Chairman of the COVID-19 working group under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) Dr. NK Arora, work is expected to begin 'in a few weeks', as mentioned in a report in The Indian Express. Dr Arora said that approximately eight vaccines may be mixed and matched in the process, including Serum's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, and Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

Clinical testing would be a collaborative affair between bodies such as the Indian Council of Medical Research, Serum, Bharat Biotech and companies that developed and produced the vaccines. The tests will look into factors such as whether vaccines based on different platforms can be given together and which to administer first.

Dr Arora said that even as the current vaccines are providing protection against COVID-19, they are not providing protection from infection and transmission to the extent they would have liked, as mentioned in the daily.

"Various factors have to be considered here. Proper research studies in actual field conditions have to be done. The whole purpose is to have better immune protection for the population without any adverse effects," he said. Dr Arora added that both the vaccines could be individually safe but the focus would be to see if they are safe together.

The mixing of different vaccines has been part of discussions on COVID-19 vaccines globally. Along with the three vaccines that are being administered, there are six COVID-19 vaccines in the pipeline, Serum's Covovax, Zydus Cadila's ZyCov-D, Biological E's Corbevax, Genova's mRNA vaccine, Biological E's Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and Bharat Biotech's intranasal vaccine.


Source: Business Today | June 13, 2021

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