A study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the combination of Covaxin and Covishield vaccines can yield better safety results. 

The study results come at a time when there is increased research on the mixing of vaccine doses globally. 

Denmark’s State Serum Institute had earlier stated that combining the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with the second dose of mRNA vaccines either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines offers a ‘good protection’.

The Study: Key Highlights 

•During the study, ICMR had compared the safety and immunogenicity profile of those who had received either Covaxin or Covishield and it showed better results.

•The study was conducted on individuals in Uttar Pradesh who had received Covishield as the first dose followed by inadvertent administration of Covaxin as the second dose at an interval of six weeks.

•The Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, ICMR, Dr Samiran Panda said “it was like a natural experiment when second time these individuals inoculated with different doses inadvertently.”

•The ICMR had decided to conduct the study so that people do not get anxiety or vaccine hesitancy. 

•The medical council collected samples of individuals.


•There were a total of 18 participants in the heterologous group, out of which two participants were unwilling and were excluded. 

•Others included 11 male and seven female participants with a median age of 62 years. Hypertension was reported in one person. 

•Overall, 40 individuals were included in both the homologous groups.

•The safety and immunogenicity profile of these people was compared with those who received either Covishield or Covaxin.

•Lower adverse events following immunization in all three groups underlined the safety of the combination vaccine regime. 

•The vaccine immunity against Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants in the heterologous group was noted to be superior.

•The IgG antibody and neutralising antibody response of the participants was also significantly higher compared to that in the homologous groups.


•The study revealed that vaccination with a combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine was not only safe but it also yielded better immunogenicity.

•Upon comparison with the heterogeneous group and homologous group, the study found better immune response, if somebody gets Covishield first and Covaxin second.

•This is the first study on the combination of Adenovector and whole variant vaccines. 


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