Karnataka seeks 30 lakh Covid booster doses
Places request for 25 lakh Covishield, 5 lakh Corbevax doses; no word on mixing vaccines
BENGALURU: The state government has asked people to take booster doses at the earliest, however, the health department has run out of Covishield and Corbevax. As on Wednesday, the state had 6.87 lakh doses of Covaxin. Since a majority of people in the state have taken Covishield, they are now waiting for the booster dose to be available. There is a mixed reaction among people too — while some are waiting for the Covishield booster shot, some are approaching health centres and are ready to take Covaxin.
Those who opted for Covishield are given the same vaccine or the heterologous Corbevax. However, both Covishield and Corbevax are not available in most health centres.
An official from the government-run Bowring Hospital said they are also running short of stocks. “If the government allows mixing of vaccines, we can administer Covaxin to those who have received Covishield,” the official said, adding that the Covaxin doses they have will expire by this month-end.
A member of the state’s Technical Advisory Committee said there has been no discussion on mixing vaccines so far, and that people who have taken Covishield have to wait till the doses arrive. The member, however, added that mixing of vaccines can boost immunity by giving multiple ways for our immune system to identify the virus and act. But final results of clinical trials was not yet available to substantiate it.
Health and Family Welfare Commissioner D Randeep said there is no directive on mixing vaccines, and for now, the Union health ministry has permitted only Corbevax as a precaution/booster dose for all those individuals who have been vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin. “We have placed our request before the Centre for 25 lakh Covishield and 5 lakh Corbevax doses. Delivery is expected by this weekend. We have 6.87 lakh Covaxin doses,” Randeep said.