- Drugs Controller General of India has approved the study of mixing Covaxin and Covishield
- The study, as well as the clinical trials, will be conducted by the Christian Medical College
A study focused on the mixing of the two main vaccines being used in India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive – Covishield and Covaxin – has been given the go-ahead by the Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI).
This study along with the clinical trials will be conducted by the Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
Dr V K Paul, NITI Aayog Member (Health) said, “Permission has been granted for a research study by CMC Vellore (Tamil Nadu) on mixing of vaccines doses,” during a press briefing on Tuesday.
On the 29th of July, a Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recommended conducting the study.
This study will be different from the one which was conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which said that mixing the two COVID-19 vaccines elicited better safety and immunogenicity results.
The mixing of doses had raised considerable anxiety.
The study was conducted on individuals in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India and received Covishield as their first dose against COVID-19 followed by inadvertent administration of Covaxin as the second dose at an interval of six weeks.
A total of 18 participants were in the heterologous group. Although, there were two participants who were unwilling and were later excluded. Among them, 11 were male, and seven were female with a median age of 62 years.
The ICMR said that the study suggests that the immunisation with a combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also elicited better immunogenicity.
Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, ICMR, said, “We did a comparison with heterogeneous group and homologous group, we found better immune response, if somebody gets Covishield first and Covaxin second that it gives better immunity.
“This is the first study on a combination of Adenovector and whole variant vaccines”.
Having said this, the top medical body added that more detailed and in-depth research must be done on the limitations, as the study is done merely on 18 participants which is a very small sample size.