The Drugs Controller General Of India (DCGI), India's drug regulator, has approved a proposal for a study to be conducted on the mixing of two COVID-19 vaccines -- Covishield and Covaxin. According to reports, the study and related trials will be conducted at Christian Medical College in Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
"Permission has been granted for research study at CMC Vellore on mixing of vaccine doses," news agency ANI quoted Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog, as saying.
Earlier on July 29, the Subjects Experts Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recommended that a study be conducted. The trial will see 300 volunteers being administered a dose each of Covaxin and Covishield.
The aim of the study will be to assess the feasibility on whether a person can be given two different vaccine shots -- one each of Covishield and Covaxin -- to complete the inoculation course.
Separately, a recent study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) involving 98 people, 18 of whom had inadvertently received Covishield as the first dose and Covaxin as the second in Uttar Pradesh, showed that combining these two COVID-19 vaccines elicited better immunogenicity than two doses of the same vaccine.
The study also found that immunisation with a combination of Covishield and Covaxin was safe and the adverse effects were also found to be similar when compared to the same dose regimen.
Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) revealed that mixing and matching of vaccines Covishield and Covaxin can yeild better results against Covid-19. "Immunization with combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also elicited better immunogenicity," the study said.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Serum Institute's Covishield are the most widely accepted vaccines in India. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) National Institute of Virology (NIV). Covishield is the local version of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19. Pune-based Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the drug.