Pune: Serum Institute of India (SII) chairman Dr Cyrus Poonawalla said Friday he was not in favour of administering two different coronavirus vaccines for better efficacy. It had been said earlier by a group of researchers that a cocktail of coronavirus vaccines have yielded better results in the fight against the virus. Poonawalla’s firm makes the Covishield vaccine.
The top boss of SII was speaking to reporters after receiving the ‘Lokmanya Tilak National Award’ here. “I am against the mixing of two different vaccines. There is no need to mix two different vaccines,” he said. Poonawalla said this when asked about a recent ICMR study. It said that a cocktail of Covishield and Covaxin could generate better immunity.
“If cocktail vaccines are administered and if the result is not good, then SII may say that another vaccine was not good, vice versa. The other company might say that since you mixed Serum’s vaccine, it did not give desired results,” Poonawalla said. “The efficacy of this approach has not been proven in field trials involving thousands of participants,” he added.
A study by the ICMR involving 98 people, 18 of whom had inadvertently received Covishield as first dose and Covaxin as the second in Uttar Pradesh, showed that combining vaccines elicited better immunogenicity.
However, Poonawalla asserted that it would be better if a person is administered the same company’s vaccine twice and not mix up two vaccines.