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Mix of Covishield-Covaxin provides better shield against COVID-19: ICMR

A recent study by India’s apex body for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has found that mixing two vaccine doses gives better results than two doses of the same vaccine.

As per the study, “ A group of 18 people in Uttar Pradesh, who received Covishield as the first dose and Covaxin as the second showed better immunogenicity — the ability to generate an immune response — than those who received two doses of the same vaccine.”

The researchers examined the safety and immunogenicity profile of the group of 18 people with two groups of individuals who received either Covishield or Covaxin.

In a nutshell, the study demonstrates that immunisation with a heterologous combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine is not only safe but also drew better immunogenicity than two jabs of same vaccines,” as per the pre-print of the Indian Council of Medical Research study published in MedRxiv.

The Oxford–AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield is built on a viral vector vaccine platform and uses a weakened version of adenovirus, a common cold virus that causes infection in chimpanzees, while Covaxin is built on an inactivated whole virus vaccine platform.

The chief investigator of the study, Senior ICMR scientist Rajni Kant said,” The mix-and-match of Covishield and Covaxin as first and second dose demonstrated a superior immune response than two doses of either Covishield or Covaxin, while adding that this is the first ever report on mixed vaccination that has demonstrated safety and significantly improved immune response.

Effective against Alpha, Beta & Delta variants

Notably, the study showed the immunogenicity profile in people who received both the vaccines was superior against Alpha, Beta and Delta variants. Further, IgG antibody and neutralising antibody response was comparatively higher as in the case of homologous groups.

The report added that this is the first study which showcases the effects of heterologous prime-boost vaccination with an adenovirus vectored vaccine followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine.

It will remove vaccine hesitancy in the people’s mind that could have genesis in programmatic ‘errors’ especially in settings where multiple COVID-19 vaccines are being used, the research asserted.

World largest vaccine drive gets bigger

Continuing the world’s largest immunization drive, India has administered more than 50.86 crore vaccines. To be precise, 50,86,64,759 vaccine jabs have been inoculated through 58,79,068 sessions till the morning of 9th August. Over 16,11,590 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

The new phase of universalization of COVID-19 vaccination, which commenced on 21st June, 2021 has been accelerating the pace and expanding the scope of COVID-19 vaccination throughout the country.

In another positive development, India’s recovery rate has breached the 97.40% mark in the last 24 hours. This is the highest ever recovery rate achieved by India since the start of the pandemic.

 

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