Maximising the boost-on mixing the COVID vaccines

News: India currently has three available vaccines and recently two more along with a drug have been approved for emergency use authorization. 

Despite this wide range of vaccine availability, India has been extremely dependent on just one vaccine COVISHEID. 

This may become a cause of concern specially with the directives that focus on precaution doses(/booster shots). 

What are the newly approved drugs by India? 

Corbevax (by Biological-E) and Covovax are protein sub-unit vaccine . Serum Institute of India will manufacture both of them. Both, however, differ in their manufacturing process. 

Molnupiravir is a drug for those with mild and moderate disease and easily administered as a pill. 

Must Read: What is Molnupiravir, the COVID-19 pill approved by India?
What are the advantages of having more number of approved drugs? 

In the uncertain scenario of the pandemic, having more vaccines is a good precautionary step. Example: Emergence of new variant Omicron. 

This will help in application of booster shot specially as India has a large population. 

Governments new directives say that “precaution doses”, which are third doses of the vaccines an individual has already been inoculated with, will be available for health-care and frontline workers and those above 60 with comorbidities. 

What studies say about mixing up the vaccines? 

One study in Uttar Pradesh on mixing Covaxin and Covishield showed that antibody levels were higher than two doses of either vaccine. 

More about vaccine mixing, its benefits and concerns: Read here
What is the way forward? 

India’s top medical institutions must immediately test the feasibility of mixing all available vaccines so that people have the option of an informed choice. 

Till then, It is also important to ensure that the currently available vaccines and treatments are not  hoarded or indiscriminately used which can have potential side effects. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Maximising the boost-on mixing the COVID vaccines” published in The Hindu on 30th Dec 2021 

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