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India to start mix-and-match booster vaccines from today

According to the Union Health Minister, Corbevax will be available to over 18s as a precautionary booster, six months after a second dose. This is for the first time that a booster dose that is different from the one used for primary vaccination against Covid has been allowed in the country.

India to start mix-and-match booster vaccines from August12 gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 12, 2022, 9:33 AM IST

India will begin administering Corbevax as a preventative dosage for individuals who have received the full recommended dose of either the Covaxin or Covishield vaccinations on Friday in response to an unexpected rise in COVID-19 infections in many states.

On Wednesday, the Union Health Minister authorised Corbevax as a "heterologous" booster dose for adults who have had either the Covishield or the Covaxin vaccine. There will be a six-month or 26-week interval between the booster dosage of Corbevax and the second dose of either Covaxin or Covishield.

The COVID-19 immunisation programme now uses Corbevax, India's first RBD protein sub-unit vaccine that was manufactured locally, to immunise children between the ages of 12 and 14. In accordance with the suggestions provided by the COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) last week, the ministry authorised Corbevax as a booster dosage.

Also Read | Govt reduces gap between 2nd and precaution dose of Covid vaccines on NTAGI's advice

This is the first time a COVID vaccine different from the one used for initial immunisation will be permitted as a booster dose in the nation. In a detailed statement, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated that the current recommendations for the homologous precaution doses given for Covaxin and Covishield vaccinations will not alter. All people above the age of 18 would have the choice of a hetelogous precaution dosage with Corbevax in addition to the current homologous precaution dose, according to Bhushan's letter.

Starting on January 10, healthcare and frontline workers, as well as people 60 and older with comorbidities, began receiving precautionary vaccination doses. Beginning on March 16, the Center lifted the comorbidity clause, allowing anybody over 60 to get the precautionary dosage of the COVID vaccination. Beginning on April 10, anybody over the age of 18 can get a COVID-19 precautionary dosage.

Also Read: ICMR isolates monkeypox virus; may pave way for development of vaccines

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