NEW DELHI : India’s top vaccine advisory body has requested lab data and more evidence from Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore, which is conducting a study on the covid-19 vaccine mixture Covaxin and Covishield, a person with knowledge of it says of development.
Recently, CMC Vellore submitted preliminary study results to the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), which makes vaccine recommendations after reviewing data on disease burden, efficacy and cost-effectiveness.
“We looked at the preliminary data and realized there was a need for more laboratory evidence. CMC Vellore is working on it and they have asked for at least six weeks to submit the lab data,” the person quoted above said on condition of anonymity.
According to India’s vaccine mixing protocol, a person fully vaccinated with ‘A’ vaccine receives a booster dose of ‘B’ vaccine, and vice versa. Last year, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) authorized CMC Vellore to conduct the study to assess the safety and efficacy of the covid vaccine mix.
Emailed questions to CMC Vellore spokespersons and the union’s Department of Health went unanswered at press time.
Globally, around 33 vaccines have been approved for mix-and-match, while India is still working on the protocol.
Meanwhile, India’s active covid-19 cases have fallen below 15,000 after nearly two years of the pandemic. India has seen a steady decline in daily infections, with 1,233 cases reported in the past 24 hours.
“The number of active cases in India drops to 14,704, less than 15,000 after 707 days,” the health ministry said.
According to the ministry, about 1,876 patients have recovered in the past 24 hours, bringing the cumulative figure of recovered patients to 42.4 million. The Ministry of Health said cumulative Covid-19 vaccination coverage in India had exceeded 1.83 billion, with more than 15 million doses given to 12-14 year olds.
So far, no less than 22.8 million people have been vaccinated with the third dose or the booster dose. During that time, the Center has provided more than 1.84 billion doses of vaccine to states and union territories.
India has so far reported about 43 million covid-19 infections, with a death toll of 5.21 lakh, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The government has also authorized a precautionary or booster dose for all the population over 60, healthcare workers and frontline workers.
On March 22, Mint reported that a senior expert from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) had spoken out against the government’s policy of mixing covid-19 vaccine doses, warning that in the event of adverse event, it would be very difficult to establish which vaccine caused it.
Dr Sanjay Rai, Professor of Community Medicine at AIIMS, said: “Right now the mix of vaccines is completely irrational. We are using covid19 vaccines for the first time and to mix two drugs we need long term scientific evidence. “
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