Speculation that a person can get their second shot of a vaccine different from their first shot, has been nipped in the bud by the Union government. There has been no change in the vaccination SOP, the Centre has clarified. Thus no mixing of Covid-19 vaccine doses in India is allowed, until enough scientific evidence on its effectiveness is gathered. The government had to make an official statement after it was being reported that senior officials had “indicated” that the government “may consider doing away with the second dose of Covishield” or in some cases even “mixing doses” of the two available vaccines.
According to news reports it was none other than the Chairman of Covid-19 working group, Dr NK Arora who said ‘India may begin testing the feasibility of mixing doses of two different Covid-19 jabs in the next few weeks’. There was wide speculation after that if such a mix would “give better immunity against Covid-19.”
However, on Tuesday Dr VK Paul, Member (health) Niti Aayog and a key member of the government’s Covid-19 task force, clarified that the government has not made any change in the vaccination schedule for Covishield and Covaxin at all. Thus it is still protocol to get two doses of the same vaccine.
Recently a dangerous “oversight” resulted in the mixing up of the two vaccines in second doses of 20 people in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district. The “mix-up of doses” was reported from the Barhni block of the district. Officials told media-persons that 20 people were injected with Covaxin doses, “more than a month after they received the first dose of the Covishield vaccine”. The nearly 20 villagers of Siddharthnagar are now being monitored closely.
On Tuesday, Union Health Ministry stated that India reported 1.27 Lakh cases, the lowest in in 54 days; the active caseload is now at 18,95,520, for the first time going below 20 lakhs in 43 days and the daily positivity rate is now at 6.62%.
Sputnik V has landed
On Tuesday, three million doses of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, reported Indian Express. The Dr Reddy’s Laboratories is in a pact with Russian Direct Investment Fund to sell the first 125 million people doses (250 million vials) of Sputnik V in India after approval from the Indian drug regulator for restricted emergency use of Sputnik V.