Are Vaccine ‘Cocktails’ A Good Idea? Expert Explains

Are Vaccine ‘Cocktails’ A Good Idea? Expert Explains

NDTV talked to Dr GC Khilnani, Chairman, PSRI Institute of Pulmonary Care to discuss the pros and cons of a vaccine cocktail
Coronavirus Vaccine
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I think now there is sufficient data to prove that vaccine 'cocktail' gives enhanced immunity: Dr GC KhilnaniI think now there is sufficient data to prove that vaccine 'cocktail' gives enhanced immunity: Dr GC Khilnani

New Delhi: With the coronavirus outbreak continuing to leave a trail of devastation across the world, some pharma majors are also working on a ‘cocktail’ of vaccines in order to increase its potency. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said that mixing and matching the COVID vaccines is a “dangerous trend” that could lead to a disaster as there is very little data on its efficacy. NDTV talked to Dr GC Khilnani, Chairman, PSRI Institute of Pulmonary Care to discuss the pros and cons of a vaccine cocktail.

NDTV: What is your view on Vaccine Cocktail?.

Dr GC Khilnani: My views are based on data, studies, knowledge. A was published in the most reputable medical journal, The Lancet, on July 10, 2021, where 420 people who received Covishield, were given a second dose of Pfizer after 12 weeks. They found that these people’s immunity increased by 77-folds. Another data came from Canada, where they tried, 2 doses of Covishield on one group, 2 doses of Pfizer on another and one dose of Covishield followed by the second dose of Pfizer on the third group. It was found that Pfizer after Covishield gave 50-100 fold enhanced immunity.

I think now there is sufficient data to prove that this process gives enhanced immunity. It is also important to look at it from the Indian perspective since we are facing a vaccine shortage. We are hoping Pfizer and Moderna, which are mRNA vaccines, to hit the Indian markets. 90 per cent of Indian have received Covishield and are struggling to find the second dose. So, this information should be utilised to the advantage of India. If we get other vaccines, we can give those as the second dose and there is enough scientific evidence and data to show that this way an individual has enhanced immunity.

Also Read: Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Cut COVID-19 Risk By 91 Per Cent: Study

NDTV: Why is WHO warning against this process and saying there is not enough data?

Dr GC Khilnani: If we go to the history of COVID-19, WHO never approved Remdesvir, but doctors still used it to save lives. They even took a lot of time to approve the use of steroids in treatment. They have also not yet approved Covaxin, even though the phase three trials have been published in the peer-reviewed journal. So, in my personal opinion, they will eventually see the benefits and agree after scrutinising it thoroughly, as per their process. For now, we need to get more vaccines in the Indian market and utilise them accordingly.

NDTV: How do we know which vaccines to mix?

Dr GC Khilnani: We are not choosers at this moment, my thinking as a physician, is that numbers are important. Instead of vaccinating 89 lakhs people a day, we are only vaccinating 35-40 lakhs. To enhance it, we can use Pfizer or Moderna and improve our inoculation numbers.

NDTV: There are talks of a third booster dose in some countries and this has also sparked a debate, that the vaccines should go to countries with a shortage. So far CDC has said that it is not required. What is your take?

Dr GC Khilnani: This is not a debate at all. A third booster dose has to come and it comes for many diseases. The countries that have sufficient vaccines for their population can think of giving a third dose.

For a country like India, we need to first focus on completing the first two doses, which can give immunity for at least 210 days, as per the research. Beyond that, no one knows how long the vaccine immunity may last. Going by the history of other vaccinations that we know,  all the majority of vaccinations be it pneumonia, we know that booster shots are usually required to enhance immunity.

Also Read: COVID-19: Pregnant And Thinking Of Getting Vaccinated? Here’s What Government Guidelines Say About Safety, Side-Effects

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

19,66,15,634Cases
6,33,31,644Active
12,90,85,240Recovered
41,98,750Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 194 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 19,66,15,634 and 41,98,750 have died; 6,33,31,644 are active cases and 12,90,85,240 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 4:07 am.

India

3,15,72,344 44,230Cases
4,05,155 1,315Active
3,07,43,972 42,360Recovered
4,23,217 555Deaths
In India, there are 3,15,72,344 confirmed cases including 4,23,217 deaths. The number of active cases is 4,05,155 and 3,07,43,972 have recovered as on July 30, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

62,90,156 7,242

81,933 3,980

60,75,888 11,032

1,32,335 190

Kerala

33,49,365 22,064

1,55,327 5,287

31,77,453 16,649

16,585 128

Karnataka

29,01,247 2,052

23,277 685

28,41,479 1,332

36,491 35

Tamil Nadu

25,55,664 1,859

21,207 314

25,00,434 2,145

34,023 28

Andhra Pradesh

19,62,049 2,107

21,279 280

19,27,438 1,807

13,332 20

Uttar Pradesh

17,08,373 60

784 16

16,84,834 44

22,755

West Bengal

15,26,539 766

11,300 70

14,97,116 822

18,123 14

Delhi

14,36,144 51

554 19

14,10,541 70

25,049

Chhattisgarh

10,01,781 130

2,086 140

9,86,175 270

13,520

Odisha

9,74,132 1,615

15,276 489

9,53,088 2,039

5,768 65

Rajasthan

9,53,622 17

259 9

9,44,410 26

8,953

Gujarat

8,24,829 27

268 6

8,14,485 33

10,076

Madhya Pradesh

7,91,796 18

130 0

7,81,153 18

10,513

Haryana

7,69,858 30

712 10

7,59,516 17

9,630 3

Bihar

7,24,719 46

481 1

7,14,596 42

9,642 3

Telangana

6,43,716 623

9,188 126

6,30,732 746

3,796 3

Punjab

5,99,005 58

553 6

5,82,162 60

16,290 4

Assam

5,64,030 1,299

14,114 385

5,44,695 1,664

5,221 20

Jharkhand

3,47,105 56

259 22

3,41,720 34

5,126

Uttarakhand

3,41,982 48

669 3

3,33,952 51

7,361

Jammu And Kashmir

3,21,207 181

1,144 5

3,15,686 175

4,377 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,05,728 229

1,098 145

2,01,110 84

3,520

Goa

1,70,900 90

1,077 5

1,66,679 93

3,144 2

Puducherry

1,20,725 98

972 49

1,17,961 49

1,792

Manipur

96,824 1,000

10,895 27

84,408 1,016

1,521 11

Tripura

78,059 271

3,640 221

73,665 488

754 4

Meghalaya

63,745 731

5,750 294

56,933 423

1,062 14

Chandigarh

61,948 5

37 1

61,102 4

809

Arunachal Pradesh

47,477 335

4,252 49

43,000 383

225 1

Mizoram

37,171 764

11,862 252

25,168 511

141 1

Nagaland

27,653 67

1,299 51

25,798 114

556 4

Sikkim

26,132 276

3,297 180

22,498 92

337 4

Ladakh

20,324 4

60 4

20,057 8

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,643 1

36 5

10,603 6

4

Lakshadweep

10,162 7

70 6

10,042 13

50

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,534 3

10 3

7,395

129

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