March 23, 2023

Call on mixing vaccines for booster dose by January 10: ICMR | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The government’s scientific advisory groups on Covid-19 immunisation are still evaluating if doses of different Covid vaccines can be mixed for the precaution (booster) dose but will come out with a final guideline before January 10, when health and frontline worke-rs and those above 60 with comorbidities can start receiving the shots.
“We are having extensive debates on… what are the vaccines available and which vaccines can be given in terms of safety and efficacy. We are analysing all the data that is available… whether it is going to be same vaccine or is it going to be different one,” ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava said.
“The Drugs Controller General of India and National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation are meeting and that decision will be taken before January 10,” he said. While clinical trials on mixing vaccine doses for boosters in India are as yet inconclusive, experts are considering international data, another official said.
“International data show mixing of certain vaccines may result in high reactogenicity. Even though certain countries have mixed vaccines, many of them are witnessing a surge. We have to evaluate all aspects, it is not an easy decision,” a senior official told TOI.
Currently, India has only Covishield and Covaxin under the government’s Covid immunisation programme. However, emergency use authorisation has been granted to six others — Serum Institute of India’s Covovax, Biological E’s Corbevax, Russia’s Sputnik-V, Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D and two other jabs from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
While CMC, Vellore is conducting trials to test mixing of Covishield and Covaxin doses, SII is also conducting trials to test a Covavax booster over two doses of Covishield. Besides, the regulator had recently given permission to Biological E for testing Corbevax as a booster on two doses of Covishield and Covaxin.

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