Should we mix Covishield and Covaxin? What do studies say about mixing Covid-19 vaccines?

Nitin Shukla, a resident of Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh, acquired the primary dose of Covid-19 vaccine – Covaxin – within the first week of May. Now, Delhi has halted vaccination for the 18-44 age group as a consequence of a scarcity of Covid-19 vaccine doses. Nitin is in his mid-20s.

According to the present Covid-19 vaccine dosing routine, Nitin can be due for his second dose within the first week of June. But he’s not positive if he can get the second dose as a Covishield jab both in Delhi, or neighbouring Uttar Pradesh or Haryana, if he doesn’t get the Covaxin dose on time.

There are many like Nitin going through this vaccine dosing dilemma. Shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses has left many questioning if they’ll mix and match two totally different vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin in India.


In his Twitter publish on May 20, Dr Faheem Younus, the chief of infectious illness on the American University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health (UM UCH), handled this dilemma.

He wrote, “Q: Can I take Pfizer/Astra Zeneca/JJ after getting vaccinated with Covaxin or Sinopharm etc? Can I mix and match vaccines?”

“As of today, I’d say no. It’s being studied. Besides rare exceptions don’t mix. This WILL change. Wait 2-3 months instead of taking a blind risk (sic),” he answered.


Two days in a while May 22, the central authorities too appeared very cautious in its reply to this query.

“It is plausible. But there need to be more studies. It can’t be said definitively that mixing of doses can be practised. There is no robust scientific evidence,” mentioned Niti Aayog (Health) member VK Paul.

“Only time will tell whether it will be done in future or not, it will depend on international studies, World Health Organization findings etc. Our experts are also continuously studying,” Paul mentioned.

Paul mentioned, “One shot of one type [of Covid-19 vaccine] produces antibodies and the second shot from another will increase that. Scientifically, there is no problem.”


Studies have been carried out mixing the doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca (known as Covishield in India) vaccine. A trial on 600 individuals confirmed that if Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is given because the second dose to beneficiaries who acquired AstraZeneca’s shot as their first dose, it improved immune response considerably with delicate side-effects.

The US has allowed mixing of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines asking the recipients to take the 2 photographs with a niche of 28 days. (File picture)

Another significant study has begun in the UK the place totally different combos of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax vaccines can be tried on over 50 volunteers.

The researchers have determined to present two vaccine doses 12 weeks aside. Its outcomes can be out there in subsequent few months.


Pending remaining outcomes of the studies of mixing and matching Covid-19 vaccines, a number of nations have allowed or determined to present a second dose of a distinct vaccine to the recipients. In most instances, the primary vaccine shot was of AstraZeneca.

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Canada, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden, Spain, and South Korea have allowed the usage of a distinct vaccine for the second dose for full Covid-19 vaccination if the primary dose was of AstraZeneca vaccine.

China, the place Covid-19 broke out first in 2019, in April mentioned it was formally contemplating mixing Covid-19 vaccine doses for jabs developed with totally different applied sciences.

The US has allowed mixing of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines asking the recipients to take the 2 photographs with a niche of 28 days.


For vaccines out there in India – Covishield and Covaxin – no such research has been undertaken. The third vaccine permitted in India, Sputnik V, curiously makes use of barely totally different photographs for its two-dose inoculation regime.

Secondly, solely one in all these three vaccines has been permitted by the WHO. Covaxin is hopeful of getting WHO’s nod pending which those that have taken one or each the photographs of the vaccine might should comply with contemporary vaccination routine permitted within the vacation spot nation. They face a chance of unsure response of mixing Covaxin dose(s) with one other vaccine – a mixture that has not been tried and examined by science.


Incidentally, two inadvertent errors in vaccination reported from Uttar Pradesh noticed folks being given doses of various vaccines. The first incident was reported in April when a person was given Covishield because the second dose within the Maharajganj district. He had obtained a Covaxin shot earlier.

In the second occasion reported this week, 20 people were given different vaccines – Covishield in April and Covaxin now – within the Siddarthnagar district of Uttar Pradesh.

No hostile impact has been reported as but. Deliberate mixing of Covid-19 vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin isn’t suggested as of now in India.

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