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Amid Covid spike, India to start mix-and-match booster vaccines from today

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New Delhi, Aug 12: Amid spike in Covid cases, India will on Friday start using Corbevax as precaution dose for adults fully-vaccinated with either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines.

The Union Health Minister on Wednesday approved Corbevax as a "heterologous" booster shot for those above 18 years vaccinated with either Covishield or Covaxin.

Amid Covid spike, India to start mix-and-match booster vaccines from today

The gap between Corbevax's booster dose and the second dose of the either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines will be six months or 26 weeks.

Uploading Covid-19 vaccine certificate or RT-PCR report may soon not be necessary for flyersUploading Covid-19 vaccine certificate or RT-PCR report may soon not be necessary for flyers

Corbevax, India's first indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine, is currently being used to vaccinate children between 12 to 14 years of age under the COVID-19 immunisation programme.

The ministry approved Corbevax as booster dose on the recommendations made by the COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) last week.

This is the first time a booster dose of a COVID vaccine different from the one used for primary vaccination would be allowed in the country.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on June 4 approved Corbevax as a precaution dose for those aged 18 and above.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 last year with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. Vaccination of frontline workers started from February 2 last year.

The next phase of COVID-19 vaccination commenced on March 1 last year for people over 60 years of age and those aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions. India launched vaccination for all people aged more than 45 years from April 1 last year.

The government then decided to expand its vaccination drive by allowing everyone above 18 years of age to be inoculated against the viral disease from May 1 last year. The next phase of vaccination commenced from January 3 for adolescents in the age group of 15-18 years.

India began administering precaution doses of vaccines to healthcare and frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities from January 10.

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