Serum Institute of India (SII)’s Chairman Cyrus Poonawalla on Friday strongly affirmed that mixing two different vaccines of COVID-19 is a very risky decision and it is must be discouraged. “I am against the mixing of vaccines. If mixing is done and results are not good then vaccine manufacturers will blame each other for results. First of all, the vaccine authority will never give full approval because it is a very risky decision and it is a waste of time. When one vaccine is working why should we mix it up and cause complications? We should completely discourage this.”, he said.
Poonawalla was briefing the media persons on his organization’s COVID vaccine Covishield, when he made this remark. He also criticized the central government for extending the time period between the first and second doses of the Covishield vaccine in India.
“Normally the second dose must be taken between two to three months period. When the product is not available, the government finds a solution that the second dose must be given after three months. There should be only a two months gap between both doses,” stated Poonawalla.
Asked about the booster dose, He said, “Everyone should go for the third dose after six months of taking the second dose because by that time the antibodies in the body start reducing.”
Poonawalla informed that even he has taken the third dose of the vaccine and staff at Serum Institute of India have also being given the third dose.
Not long ago, the Indian Institute of Medical Research (ICMR) had released a report showing how mixing two vaccines Covishield and Covaxin can be more benefitial.
The study involved 98 people, 18 of whom had inadvertently received Covishield as the first dose and Covaxin as the second in Uttar Pradesh. It showed that combining these two COVID-19 vaccines elicited better immunogenicity than two doses of the same vaccine.
Meanwhile, 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.
(With ANI Inputs)