Lancet trial shows Covishield safe and effective as booster dose, Serum seeks DCGI nod

Among the seven Coronavirus vaccines which showed effective immune response are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac.

Dr V K Paul, Member, Health, NITI Aayog recently said that completing the task of vaccinating all adults with two doses would yield the best dividend at this moment.
Dr V K Paul, Member, Health, NITI Aayog recently said that completing the task of vaccinating all adults with two doses would yield the best dividend at this moment.

In a significant finding, a randomised booster shot trial published in the Lancet journal has found that seven Coronavirus vaccines are safe and trigger strong immune response among people who have already been vaccinated with two doses of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Among the seven Coronavirus vaccines which were part of the Lancet study and showed effective immune response with minimal side effects are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax, Janssen, Moderna, Valneva and Curevac.

While health experts have been considering the option of administering booster doses among people to ward off new emerging variants of the virus, there is little data on the efficacy and safety of the booster dose. The Lancet booster dose trial is among the first studies around the world which studied the immune response generated by the booster dose and its related side-effects. Serum Institute of India (SII) which supplies AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine in India has applied for permission to the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking its nod to use the vaccine for the booster shot, the Indian Express reported.

Professor Saul Faust, who led the trial and is the Director of the NIHR Clinical Research Facility, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust was quoted as saying that all seven vaccines are safe for use with acceptable side-effects such as injection site pain, muscle soreness, and fatigue among others. Professor Faust further said that it was encouraging to note that a large number of Coronavirus vaccines can be used as a booster dose to administer people who have already been vaccinated by two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

The Lancet booster dose trial involved a total of 2878 participants spread across 18 different sites in the United Kingdom. The trial which was conducted in June this year had all participants above the age of 30 years with half of them above 70. In case of beneficiaries who were administered with the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier, different vaccines increased the antibody levels by 1.8 times to 32 times. Similarly among participants who had earlier been administered with the Pfizer vaccine, the antibody levels increased by 1.3 times to 11.5 times.

In India the government has stressed on the importance of inoculating all adults with two doses of Coronavirus vaccines before deciding on the question of a third booster dose. Dr V K Paul, Member, Health, NITI Aayog recently said that completing the task of vaccinating all adults with two doses would yield the best dividend at this moment.

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