Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). A study conducted by the US National Institute of Health (NIH), The top American health research institute, revealed that Covaxin effectively neutralizes both Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus.
Studies On Covaxin
Two studies – Study1 and Study 2 were carried out. Blood serum from people who had received Covaxin was collected and examined. The results suggested that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralize the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2 that were first identified in the UK and then in India, said NIH.
What Is SARS-CoV-2?
SARS-CoV-2 stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. It is a virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
Covaxin comprises a disabled form of SARS-CoV-2 that replicates but still stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. The press release said that Covaxin is safe and well-tolerated, according to the published results from a phase-2 trial of the vaccine.
Covaxin – A Highly Efficient Vaccine
The NIH, which collaborates with India, said that an adjuvant developed with funding from it has contributed to the success of the highly efficacious Covaxin.
There are four variants of concern of the Coronavirus disease- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. With Delta Plus being a sub-lineage of the Delta variant, this is also a variant of concern.
ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said in a press conference that the reduction of vaccines’ neutralization capabilities with different variants is based on global literature. It shows that Covaxin does not change with the Alpha variant at all, and so it is the same as it is with the standard stain. Covishield reduces slightly with Alpha by 2.5 times. Covaxin is effective for the Delta variant, but antibody response is slightly reduced to a three-fold reduction for Covishiled, a two-fold reduction for Pfizer and Moderna.
Covishield and Covaxin work against SARs-CoV-2 variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, while effectiveness tests against the Delta Plus variant are ongoing. Besides, several other studies suggest that Covaxin may be effective against multiple variants of the Coronavirus.
Phase 3 Trial – Covaxin Shows 77% Efficacy
The Phase-3 clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin showed that the vaccine was 77.8 percent effective against the variants of Coronavirus.
India To Apply For The Approval Of Covaxin By WHO
Faced with concerns that Indians receiving the Covaxin vaccine may face travel restrictions, the government has decided to help ensure that Hyderabad-based Bharat biotech receives clearance from both the WHO and, subsequently, the EU’s European medicines Agency (EMA).
Bharat Biotech had said that it expects approval for its vaccine from the World Health Organization for emergency use. Sources pointed out that the WHO’s process doesn’t allow for any diplomatic or political inputs and is based entirely on the vaccine manufacturer’s ability to provide the document required by the international agency and to validate its claims.
According to the WHO’s latest status report, published on May 18, Covaxin is one of 19 vaccines for which applications have been submitted. According to the sources, the WHO is awaiting Bharat Biotech’s phase-3 final analysis data.
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