The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Sunday said a study conducted by it on mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield demonstrated better results in building immunity against the coronavirus.
Carried out between May and June this year in Uttar Pradesh, the study suggests that iummunisation with combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also elicited better immunogenicity.
"Such mixed regimens will also help to overcome the challenges of shortfall of particular vaccines and remove hesitancy around vaccines in people's mind that could have genesis in programmatic 'errors' especially in settings where multiple Covid-19 vaccines are being used," the study notes.
An expert panel of Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had last month recommended conducting a study on mixing Covaxin and Covishield vaccines' doses.
The panel recommended granting permission to the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore for conducting a clinical trial of mixing of the two COVID-19 vaccines.
The panel also recommended giving approval to Bharat Biotech for carrying out a study on interchangeability of its Covaxin and the under-trial adenoviral intranasal vaccine candidate BBV154 but asked the Hyderabad-based firm to remove the word "interchangeability" from the study title and submit a revised protocol for approval.
"The SEC (subject expert committee) after detailed deliberations recommended granting permission to CMC, Vellore for conducting the phase-4 clinical trial covering 300 healthy volunteers for mixing of COVID-19 vaccines Covaxin and Covishield," a source told PTI.
"The aim of the study is to assess whether a person can be given two different vaccine shots - one each of Covishield and Covaxin - to complete the inoculation course," the source added.
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