Govt Announces No Mix And Match For Precautionary Dose Of Covid Vaccine

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Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi informed the citizens of the government decision to bring the precautionary or booster dose of vaccine in the country from January 10. The first phase of the vaccination process will include frontline worker, health care professionals and adults above age of 60 affected with co-morbidities. However, there will be no mix and match for precautionary dose of covid 19 vaccine.

No Mix And Match For Precautionary Dose Of Covid 19 Vaccine, Says The Government

Dr. VK Paul, head of India’s COVID-19 task force informed that there will no mix and match dosage for people who will be taking the third dose of the vaccination starting January 10, 2022.

This implies that people who have been vaccinated with two dosage of Covishield will be getting the third dose of Covishield only and same applies to the Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.

The vaccination for children of age group 15-18 years have already begun since January 3, 2022. Their registration process started on January 1 as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s guideline issued.

One more vaccine, namely, Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D, has been cleared by the government, however it’s availability has not been made as of yet in the country. In total, 10 vaccines have been cleared by the government, however only two are made available in the market- Covishield and Covaxin.

In an interview with Dr NK Arora with NDTV, the chief of immunisation program said the “question of choice of ‘precautionary’ vaccine doses would be based on the science of what would be the best and available experience within the country.” He also added that this will be transparently available and informed to the community as well.

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Dr Arora negated the use of two recently passed vaccine for the purpose of booster shots. It includes- India’s first homegrown Receptor-Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine Corbevax and Covavax, which is Serum Institute of India’s version of NVX-CoV2373 by Novovax.

Many countries around the world have already started the third dose or the booster dose for its population keeping in mind the surging Omicron cases around the globe. As Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chief Rochelle Walensky said in an interview that the national agency of USA has been keeping a close look on the data of Omicron cases reported worldwide. As per the Pfizer data that they considered, it appeared booster dose worked really well. Read her interview here.

In July 2021, World Health Organization’s (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned people against the trend of mixing COVID-19 vaccine and termed it as “dangerous trend.” Indian government’s decision of “no mix and match for precautionary doses” falls in line with the instruction of WHO.

However, the vaccines are given in combinations by few governments around the world as the cases of Omicron have surged. Low and middle income countries can mainly benefit from this to deal with the shortage of vaccine and stock management.

Omicron Situation In India

Many states like Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Delhi have already imposed night curfew and imposed few restrictions to stop the increasing cases. However, more than 55,000 new cases and 534 deaths have been reported throughout the country within a span of 24 hours (as per the Ministry of Health website). The Omicron cases stand at 2,135 so far.