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

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

The study was only conducted on 18 people of Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharth Nagar, who by mistake received two doses of two separate vaccines. According to the finding of the study which is yet to be peer-reviewed immunisation with a combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine, followed by inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but also elicited better immunogenicity.

Covishield, manufactured by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, is the adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine and Covaxin, developed and manufactured by Bharat Biotech and the ICMR, is the whole virus vaccine. Covishield and Covaxin belong to two different types.

The study titled ‘Serendipitous Covid-19 Vaccine-Mix in Uttar Pradesh, India: Safety and Immunogenicity Assessment of a Heterologous Regime’ has been uploaded on medRxiv. Under this study, 18 people received two doses of two different vaccines, the reaction of which was compared to 40 receipients of two doses of Covishield and 40 recipients of two doses of Covaxin.

Mixing of vaccines is being discussed globally. All studies are in favour of mixing two vaccines to increase the protection against future infection. The subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has in July recommended a trial of mixing Covishield and Covaxin, which will be conducted by the Christian Medical College in Vellore on 300 healthy volunteers.

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