The Centre on Tuesday said that there will be no mixing of COVID-19 doses in India and all people will continue getting two doses of Covishield and Covaxin according to the schedule.
NITI Ayog member (health) VK Paul said that there has been no change in the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for vaccination and two doses of the same type of vaccine will be continued to be given to everyone in the country.
“There is absolutely no change in the two-dose regimen that is being followed in India for Covishield and Covaxin. If someone has received Covaxin as the first dose, their second dose too will be Covaxin. The same is applicable for Covishield too,” he said.
Paul also said that the second dose of Covishield will be given after 12 weeks and the second dose of Covaxin will be given after 4-6 weeks after the first dose.
Speaking on the possibility of mixing two vaccine doses, Paul said it is not part of the vaccine schedule so far and more research is needed on it.
“Mixing of vaccine is not the protocol yet, same vaccines (Covishield and Covaxin) are to be administered for both doses. Stick to the SOP. There’s international research underway on the mixing of vaccines as the possibility of a positive effect is also plausible but a harmful reaction cannot be ruled out either. It is an unresolved scientific question, science will settle it,” he added.
Amid fears that a probable third wave of COVID-19 may affect children, Paul assured that there will be no deficiency in the care and infrastructure required for children who may get infected.
“COVID-19 in children is often asymptomatic and rarely requires hospitalization. However, changes in epidemiological dynamics or viral behaviour can change the situation and increase the prevalence of infection. No undue burden has been placed on paediatric care infrastructure so far. However, it is possible that 2% – 3% of children who get infected may need hospitalization,” he added.
He also said that a National Expert Group has been formed to review COVID-19 infections in children and approach the pandemic in a renewed way, to strengthen the nation’s preparedness.