The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has announced the results of the study of mixing the COVID-19 vaccine. 98 people were included in this study. What happens if you give the first dose of Coveshield and the second dose of Covaxin? How different are the results of mixing the vaccine compared to both doses of Covashield or Covaxin? These questions have been answered through this study.
The study has been published on MedRxiv, a pre-print server for Health Sciences. Its results say that the mixing of the COVID-19 vaccine not only increases immunity and antibodies, but is also more effective in the fight against the variants. This means that if you have had both doses of CoviShield and Covaxin, then one dose of both vaccines gives more protection against COVID-19 than if you have been given both doses.
Know what is vaccine mixing:
Vaccine mixing is a standard practice. Mixing of vaccines was also tried against Ebola, Rota virus. All the experiments done so far were of the vaccine developed from the same technology. The COVID-19 vaccine has been made from at least 6 different technologies, such as inactivated, virus vector, mRNA, DNA etc.
Trials on mixing the COVID-19 vaccine started only last year. To increase the effect, researchers from Oxford University studied the mixing of Pfizer’s vaccine with AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Its results were good. Since then, studies on different combinations have been or are going on in many countries.
Major Goals for mixing vaccine:
1. Dealing with shortfall in supply’s: In India, the government’s guideline says that both doses have to be taken of the same vaccine. If there is a shortage of supplies and there is no vaccine for the second dose, can another vaccine be administered? Mixing can answer this question.
2. Effect against variants: Delta variant of COVID-19 is troubled in more than 140 countries including India. The vaccine’s effect on Delta and other variants is less than that of the original virus. In such a situation, one way to increase the effect of the vaccine can be the mixing of the vaccine.
3. Boosting Immunity: The vaccines currently available have a 50% to 95% effectiveness. Their trials have been done in different countries under different conditions. In such a situation, mixing of vaccines has emerged as an option to increase immunity.
4. Raising Antibody Levels: Studies in many countries including India shows that the COVID-19 vaccine is not the ultimate protection against the virus. Infection can occur even after vaccination. For this reason, different vaccine combinations are being tried to increase antibody levels. After giving both doses of the Chinese vaccine in many countries of the Middle East, Pfizer’s vaccine is being used as a booster dose.