Covishield - Covaxin mix vaccination gives better protection, says ICMR

9th Aug,2021

Covishield - Covaxin mix vaccination gives better protection, says ICMR

A combination of Covishield and Covaxin vaccines provide better immunogenicity than two doses of the same vaccine, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Sunday.

The Council released its research which suggest that immunisation with a combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also provided better immunogenicity.

The immunisation programme against COVID-19 in India started with two vaccines — AstraZeneca’s ChAdOx1-nCov-19 (named Covishield in India) and inactivated whole virion BBV152 ( named Covaxin).

However, 18 individuals, under the national program, inadvertently received Covishield as the first jab and Covaxin as their second dose. In its findings, the ICMR has compared the safety and immunogenicity profile of these vaccinated individuals against that of individuals receiving either Covishield or Covaxin.

*Pre-print report*

The pre-print report titled “Serendipitous COVID-19 Vaccine-Mix in UP, India: Safety and Immunogenicity Assessment of a Heterologous Regime,” has not been certified by peer review and should not be used to guide clinical practice, the Council mentioned.

It, however, maintained that the study have an important implication for the COVID-19 vaccination program wherein heterologous immunisation will pave the way for induction of improved and better protection against the variant strains of SARS-CoV-2 .

“Such mixed regimens will also help to overcome the challenges of shortfall of particular covid-19 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. However, to conclusively prove these findings a multicentre RCT needs to be carried out,” the Indian Council of Medical Research said.