AIIMS Director says more data needed for mixing of COVID-19 vaccines

In the study, the researchers who were working to know the feasibility of using a different vaccine doss for the prime vaccination than the one used for the booster vaccination, discovered that mixing the doses of two different vaccines could generate stronger immunity.

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Dr. Randeep Gulleria, AIIMS Director, said that if COVID-19 appropriate behavior is followed then everyone would be safe against any of the emerging variants. The Delta Plus variant of COVID-19 has been said to be a variant of concern by the central government and spread fear among the citizens of the country.

Mr. Gulleria said that that there was not much data on the Delta Plus variant to suggest it’s more infectious which causes more deaths and has developed a significant immune escape mechanism.

He added that more data was required on mixing of doses as the studies showed that it might be effective but he clarified that more data was needed before saying that the mixing of COVID-19 vaccine doses policy should be tried.

These remarks came after a recent study by the Oxford University which revealed that alternating doses of the Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca vaccines produced robust immune responses against the SARs-CoV-2 causing COVID-19.

In the study, the researchers who were working to know the feasibility of using a different vaccine doss for the prime vaccination than the one used for the booster vaccination discovered that mixing the doses of two different vaccines could generate stronger immunity.

The Delta Plus variant was first identified on June 11, is a mutated form of the Delta variant, and had been detected in 12 countries so far.

Over 51 cases of the variant have been found in India from over 45,000 samples that were tested.

Dr. NK Arora, of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), said that the Deta Plus variant of COVID-19 had a greater affinity towards lung problems however it doesn’t mean that it could cause major diseases or had higher transmissibility.

Dr. Arora said the Delta Plus had a greater affinity to the mucosal lining in the lungs, higher compared to other variants but it was not clear yet that it causes damage or not.

The chance of the virus mutating rises as the virus circulated in a population causing infections said WHO.

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