As the country continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccination drive is also going on in full swing in the country. As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), so far, 20.57 crore doses have been administered under the nationwide vaccination drive. Now, it is known to all that in case of a COVID-19 vaccine, two doses are administered at an interval depending on which vaccine that has been administered.
In such a scenario, there is also a common query among the people – what will happen if second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is taken?
On Thursday, the centre said that any significant adverse effect is unlikely if the second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is administered, however, reaching a firm opinion on this will need more scrutiny and understanding, a PTI report said. Nevertheless, it clarified that both doses administered to an individual should be of the same vaccine as per the existing protocol.
The statement from the centre that there is no adverse effect in case the second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is administered comes following reports that health workers in Uttar Pradesh’s Siddharthnagar district administered Covaxin to 20 villagers who had been given Covishield in the first dose.
In India, the vaccination drive was started with Covaxin and Covishield on January 16, 2021. The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination to inoculate people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years with comorbities was started from March 1, 2021. The third phase began from April 1, 2021, where all above 45 years were included. In the next phase, that started from May 1, 2021, all adults above 18 years of age were included. Recently, Russia’s Sputnik V has also been approved by the government for use in India.
Reacting to this case, NITI Aayog member (Health) V K Paul said that the incident needed to be investigated. He said at a presser, “Any significant adverse effect is unlikely if the second dose of a different COVID-19 vaccine is given. In fact, there is a narrative that is going on that taking doses of two different vaccines can lead to stronger immunity… but for a firm opinion, more scrutiny and understanding will be required.” He added that it this has happened it should not be a cause of concern for the individual, however, he urged all the health workers to administer the second dose of the same vaccine.