No Change in Covishield Doses, No Mixing of Vaccines, Says Centre
The Centre stated that mixing of vaccine doses is not the protocol yet. “Stick to the SOP,” it said.
The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday, 1 June, said that there is absolutely no change in the schedule of Covishield doses and that it would continue to remain two doses, at an interval of 12 weeks.
This statement from the Centre came in response to several media reports on Monday suggested that the government is running tests to check the effectiveness of a single dose of Covishield.
“There is absolutely no change,” NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said on Tuesday, adding that this would be the schedule moving forward and that there should not be any confusion about this.
It was also reported that the Indian government plans to launch a study on mixing of vaccines, which could be completed in the next two months.
However, on Tuesday, the Centre stated that mixing of vaccine doses is not the protocol yet, and the same vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – would be administered for both doses.
“Stick to the SOP,” Dr Paul said on Tuesday.
The Centre said that international research underway on the mixing of vaccines as the possibility of a positive effect is also plausible, but added that a harmful reaction cannot be ruled out either. It is an unresolved scientific question, science will settle it, the ministry said.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Balram Bhargava also reiterated that 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,” he added.
'Impact of COVID May Increase in Children'
Concerned with the impact of COVID on children, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said that the virus may change its behaviour in the pediatric population.
“The impact of COVID-19 may increase in children. The data has shown that a low number of children are being admitted to hospitals. We’re pushing preparedness,” he said.
Paul said that COVID-19 in children has been found in two ways— while some have reported pneumonia-like symptoms, some cases of a multi inflammatory syndrome have been found among children who recently recovered from COVID-19.
"The 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 nil. The infection has not taken serious shape in children," he added.
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