Stick to two-dose protocol for Covishield, no mixing of vaccines anytime now: VK Paul

Express News Service
NEW DELHI: Amid confusion that the government may completely do away with the second dose of Covid vaccine Covishield, the Centre on Tuesday clarified that there was no change in the existing dosing protocol while also insisting that mixing and matching of vaccines was not a possibility in the near future.

“There is some confusion and misunderstanding but let us make clear that we will keep following the gap interval of 12 weeks between two Covishield doses and everyone will get two doses of both Covishield,” said VK Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog and head of the national Covid task force.

He also maintained, while addressing a press conference on Covid situation India, that mixing of Covid doses is not a protocol anywhere in the world as of now and it remains an unresolved scientific question which only research can settle.

ALSO READ | CCMB’s dry swab test cheaper, results akin to RT-PCR tests: Scientists

“Possibility of a positive effect (of mixing doses) is also plausible but a harmful reaction cannot be ruled out either,” he said, noting that research is still underway. “Mixing of vaccine is not the protocol yet, the same vaccines, that is Covishield and Covaxin should be administered for both doses. Stick to the SOP.”

Last week, in a briefing by the Union health and family welfare, Paul on being asked a question related to inadvertent mixing of vaccines in Uttar Pradesh, had remarked that vaccinating people with two different vaccines is “scientifically and theoretically possible” but “it lacks scientific evidence at this time”.

Meanwhile, authorities added that it will be able to offer Covid vaccines to 1 crore people per day by mid-July or August.

“There is no shortage of Covid vaccines. By mid-July or August, we will have enough doses to vaccinate 1 crore people per day. We are confident of vaccinating the whole population by December,” said ICMR director general Balram Bhargava.

ALSO WATCH |  Is B.1.617 variant spreading at a frightening speed?