Mixing COVID -19 vaccine
- India is considering whether people can be given a mix of different Covid-19 vaccine doses.
- One dose of a particular vaccine mix with the second dose of a different vaccine.
- In India, whose vaccination programme currently uses Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V, this practice has not been approved yet.
- Other countries have already been testing this out.
- Mixing and matching of vaccines has been tested for decades, especially for viruses like Ebola.
- In India, combinations of rotavirus vaccines have also been used and tested out.
- In the US, the Centers for Disease Control in January allowed a mix and match of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — both mRNA jabs — under “exceptional” circumstances.
- Many other countries like Canada, UK, Russia, China, EU are working on it.
Why mix and match Covid-19 vaccines
- For Better immune responce
- Mixing might encourage our immune system to fight against different variants and mutants.
- This could solve the problem of shortage of vaccine especially in case of 2nd dose
- Mixing and matching allows the completion of immunization while ensuring safety.
- How safe it is to mix and match, and whether the approach can prompt a better immune response, are still being answered.
- Untested combinations
- There are differences in the shelf life of these vaccines, their shipment and storage conditions and contraindications — some vaccines may have more side-effects or may not work as well as others in people with specific ailments.
- Some study shows that it could lead to an increase in side effects.