Can mixing two COVID vaccine doses boost immune response?
Recently, Dr. NK Arora, chairman of the central government’s COVID-19 task force, said that experts can begin conducting tests to see if combining the doses of two different COVID vaccines could stimulate the immune response.
However, the government clarified thereafter that there would be no mixing of vaccine doses.
Meanwhile, researchers around the world have been studying the effects of mixing doses of the COVID vaccine. A study in Spain, led by the Carlos III Health Institute in Madrid, found in its preliminary trial that vaccinating people with Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 could produce a powerful immune response.
A UK study called Com-COV found that people in the mix and match groups had common mild to moderate vaccine-related side effects than those who received two doses of the same vaccine.
Countries such as Canada, France, Norway, and Sweden, among others, have recommended mixing vaccine doses while some other countries continue to carry out tests.
The strategy is known as primary booster COVID-19 heterologous vaccination and was adopted to mitigate “supply crises or shortages that could otherwise slow the launch of the vaccine,” according to a study published by Lancet In May.
Whether two different doses of the COVID vaccine can be received can only be determined through extensive research, said Dr. Vikas Maurya, department head and director of pulmonology at Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. “Researchers are already studying the effects of mixing the vaccine injections. More research is required to understand whether doing this will stimulate the immune response or reduce it. For now, what we can say is that a Covaxin injection should be followed by a booster dose of Covaxin only; the same applies to Covishield, ”he added.
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