Research is underway on the possibility of mixing one Covid vaccine brand with another and the safety of giving two doses of another brand to an individual who has already obtained one dose of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine.
The research is being carried out as hopes of obtaining the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine from India to administer as the second dose to those who already obtained the first jab of the same vaccine, begins to fade.
Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera told reporters that with the current situation in India it is looking more and more difficult to believe that the Serum Institute will be in a position to dispatch the remaining AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine stocks ordered by Sri Lanka. He said that while discussions are still ongoing they do not expect to receive the Covishield vaccine anytime soon.
As a result, he said that research is being conducted into the mix and match option where one dose can be one vaccine and the second dose another vaccine brand. He said that if the research is successful then a different vaccine brand will be given to those who obtained the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine.
Sri Lanka has so far used the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine while stocks of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine are currently in Sri Lanka awaiting clearance to be used on locals. The Sputnik V vaccine purchased from Russian is also scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka soon. (Easwaran Rutnam)