What happens if you mix two different vaccines? Govt’s top adviser speaks

Dr VK Paul had to clarify in the backdrop of an incident in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district where 20 people were deliberately given a dose of Covaxin after the first dose of Covishield

A study conducted by Oxford University and published by The Lancet found that mixing two different vaccines resulted in some side effects like headache and fatigue.

People who have doubts about taking two different vaccines (Covaxin and Covishield) as part of the two-dose regime need not worry about any side-effects, but should ideally stick to the same dose of vaccine as the first one, said Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul on Thursday (May 27).

Dr Paul, a paediatrician and government’s top COVID-19 adviser, made this statement in the backdrop of an incident in Badhni Primary Health Care Centre of Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district where 20 people were deliberately given a dose of Covaxin on May 14 after the first dose of Covishield. There have been no complaints of any side-effects from the people who got a ‘cocktail’ of vaccines.

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Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Siddharthnagar district, Sandeep Chaudhary said, “There are no such guidelines from the government of India on any kind of ‘cocktail’ of vaccines and hence this is a matter of negligence. The person who is getting the first dose of a particular vaccine should get the second dose of the same vaccine as well. An enquiry was ordered in this case and our senior officers went to the spot and conducted enquiry.”

Chaudhary said an enquiry has been ordered and action will be taken against those found guilty.

A study conducted by researchers from Oxford University and published by The Lancet found that mixing two different vaccines, Astra Zeneca Plc and Pfizer Inc, resulted in some side effects like headache and fatigue. “It’s a really intriguing finding and not something that we were necessarily expecting,” said Matthew Snape, a lead researcher of the study, in an interview to Bloomberg. “Whether or not this will relate to an improved immune response, we don’t know yet; we’ll be finding out those results in a few weeks’ time,” he added.

In fact, vaccine scarcity throughout the world has prompted governments and researchers to try out things like blending two different jabs. If governments get an assurance that different shots are safe and effective, they could find it convenient to maintain their stocks and provide more insight into a combination that’s already used in some countries.

 

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