2 min read.Updated: 01 Jun 2021, 07:11 PM IST Edited By Sanchari Ghosh
Health Ministry notified, mixing of vaccine is not the protocol yet, same vaccines, i.e. Covishield and Covaxin should be administered for both doses
Dr. VK Paul, NITI Aayog member, said, it is an unresolved scientific question, science will settle it
Amid several theories brewing around mixing of two different COVID vaccines, the Centre on Tuesday notified that it is not a protocol yet and urged all to stick to the SOP. "Possibility of a positive effect (of mixing doses) is also plausible but a harmful reaction cannot be ruled out either," Centre notified stating that research is still underway.
During a press conference regarding the COVID situation in the country, Dr. VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, on Tuesday said, "Mixing of vaccine is not the protocol yet, same vaccines, i.e. Covishield and Covaxin should 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 further added.
Paul's comment comes at a time when the country is facing an acute shortage of vaccines and many states and UTs had to stop their vaccination drive as they exhausted the doses. Currently, the country is in talks with several manufacturers regarding import of vaccines.
Last month, Paul had noted that vaccinating people with two different vaccines is 'scientifically and theoretically possible' but 'it lacks scientific evidence at this time.'
One crore vaccines per day from mid-July or August
Centre further noted that it will be able to offer vaccines to 1 crore people per day by mid-July or August.
Speaking at the press, conference, Balram Bhargava, ICMR, said, "There is no shortage of vaccine. 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."
About the changes in the schedule of Covishield doses, Bhargava cleared the air by stating there is absolutely no change in it. He said "It will be two doses only. After the first Covishield dose is administered, second dose will be given after 12 weeks. The same schedule is applicable to Covaxin."
A total of 21.60 crore vaccine doses has been administered in the country so far. Out of these, 1.67 crore doses were given to health workers, 2.42 crore to front line workers, 15.48 crore to people in 45+ age group, and 2.03 doses have been administered to those in 18-44 age group.
COVID is generally asymptomatic among kids; but may change behaviour
Speaking on the topic of impact of COVID-19 among children, Paul noted that it is generally asymptomatic. However, the virus may change its behavior.
He said, "Our focus on childhood COVID disease is gaining our attention. The pediatric population is generally asymptomatic. They often get infections but their symptoms are minimal or nill. The infection has not taken serious shape in children.
But the virus may change its behaviour in the pediatric population. The impact of COVID19 may increase in children. The data has shown that a low number of children are being admitted to hospitals. We're pushing preparedness, he added.
(With inputs from agencies)
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