Amid fears that vaccines may be ineffective against various and more powerful variants of the coronavirus disease, Dr Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), has suggested that mixing doses of two different vaccines may improve their efficacy against Covid-19.
“Fighting more infectious variants like Delta Plus and Delta is possible through mixing two different Covid-19 vaccines. However, more data is required before a final approval is given to combine two vaccines," Dr Guleria told NDTV.
“Early studies indicate that combining two different shots could be an alternative. We need to study which two vaccines could be combined for effective results. But certainly, this might increase vaccine efficacy," he added.
Last month, the Centre announced that as part of its new immunisation policy, government experts will investigate different combinations of Covid-19 vaccine doses to see whether they may improve efficacy.
Concerns that immunizations would be ineffective against the Delta Plus strain were also disregarded by Dr. Guleria. The AIIMS director stated that additional data was needed to determine that the mutated strain was capable of rendering vaccinations ineffective.
Delta plus is a mutation of the Delta variation, or B.1.617.2 strain, that was initially discovered in India and is thought to be responsible for the disastrous second wave that hit the country in April-May. Several specialists have speculated that the Delta plus version could trigger a third wave in the near future, while the top doctor has stated that a potential third wave would be unlikely to be as catastrophic as the second.
Dr. Guleria also stated that if someone has had both vaccine doses but is still exposed to the virus, they may get the illness, but it will only be “mild."