Researchers have found that mixing Covid-19 vaccines Covaxin and Covishield as first and second doses or vice versa was four times more effective, as there was higher antibody response on use of the two vaccines.
The study by Hyderabad-based AIG Hospitals along with a team of researchers from the Asian Healthcare Foundation was done to ascertain the safety profile of mixing the two vaccines.
The study found that spike-protein neutralizing antibodies were significantly higher in people who took the mixed vaccines than among those who took the same vaccine twice.
“Spike-protein neutralizing antibodies are the ones which kill the virus and reduce the overall infectivity. We found that when the first and second dose are of different vaccines, the spike-protein antibody response is four times higher compared to two-dose of the same vaccine,” D Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman of AIG Hospitals said.
The study also showed that it was safe to mix the two vaccines.
Mixed doses can certainly boost these spike-protein neutralizing antibodies and will enhance the vaccines’ effectiveness even against the Omicron variant, Reddy said.
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The findings are important as the government is considering administering a third booster dose amid the rising threat of the Omicron variant of coronavirus. Reddy said mixing the two vaccines will elicit robust antibody response and help in killing the virus.
AIG Hospitals, whose researchers were part of the study, has shared the data with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
The study took 330 healthy unvaccinated volunteers with no history of Covid-19 infection and screened them for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies for the study.
“One of the incidental findings of the study is the seropositivity among the population. Eighty seven per cent participants who didn’t get vaccinated and never tested positive for Covid had the Covid-19 related antibodies. This means our population might have developed significant antibodies against the Covid because of the huge Delta wave that we endured,” Reddy said.
(With inputs from agencies)