“Mixing not permitted for 1st & 2nd Dose”: Centre tells Delhi HC in plea by cancer patient seeking to take Covaxin instead of Covishield as 2nd dose

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The court was hearing a plea filed in 2021 by a cancer patient who wanted to take Covaxin for the second dose instead of Covishield.

The Union Government recently told the Delhi High Court that administering different Covid-19 vaccines, for two doses to an individual is not permissible nor recommended. It, however, added that a different vaccine is permitted as a booster dose.

Justice Prathiba M. Singh was hearing a plea by one Madhur Mittal, a cancer patient seeking directions to allow him to take the Covaxin vaccine for the second dose, instead of the Covishield vaccine.

Madhur in his plea stated that after being administered the first dose of the Covishield vaccine in March 2021, he suffered various adverse reactions which required specialized treatment.

In September 2021, a notice was issued in the present plea to the respondent authorities. The affidavit filed by them stated that the mixing of the first two doses has not been permitted by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) or National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC) as the safety or efficacy of such mixed dose has not been determined.

“The safety and efficacy of any vaccine regimen are of paramount importance for public health programs. In absence of study data, the mixing of 2 different vaccines is not permitted presently”, the affidavit read.

During the hearing, the Central Government Standing Counsel (CGSC) Anurag Ahluwalia apprised the court that even as of date, mixing of doses is not permissible, for the first and second doses. However, he stated that mixing in the booster dose (precautionary dose) is permitted.

The court noted that nobody appeared for the petitioner, and even on the last two hearings, nobody appeared. Accordingly, the court dismissed the plea.

Case Title: Madhur Mittal v. Union of India