Mixed Vaccine testing in India

India may soon begin testing the efficacy of two different Covid-19 vaccines which are mixed together to see if it helps boost the immune response to the Covid-19 virus. The testing may be carried out using the vaccines that are currently available in India and also those that are in the pipeline/research stage.

According to Dr N K Arora who is the current chairman of the Covid-19 working group which is under the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI), mixed vaccine testing is expected to begin in the upcoming few weeks in the country.

According to Dr. Arora around eight vaccines might be mixed and matched as part of the mixed vaccine testing process. Out of the 8 vaccines to be used three vaccines are: Covishield made by Serum Institute of India, Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech and Sputnik V of Russia.

Testing methods

  • Collaboration between the various bodies like the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the companies that develop and produce the vaccines is likely to be seen for the mixed vaccine testing process.
  • The tests conducted will study different factors such as whether the vaccines based on different platforms can be given together, and the selection of the administration of the vaccines as in which will be given in the first dose and which will be given in the second one.

Other vaccines in the pipeline

Currently there are 6 vaccines in the pipeline in the country. They are

  • Covovax of Serum Institute
  • Corbevax of Biological E
  • ZyCov-D manufactured by Zydus Cadila
  • mRNA vaccine of Gennova
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine which as a Bio E version
  • intranasal Covid-19 vaccine of Bharat Biotech

Dr. V K Paul of NITI Aayog had said that taking two different vaccination doses is theoretically possible but more research needs to be done on the topic.

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