Bharat Biotech has said its vaccine Covaxin is effective against the aggressively virulent B.1.167 strain of Covid detected in India and the UK variant of the virus B.1.1.7. The study — conducted by India’s National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research — has been published in a peer-reviewed journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases. Bharat Biotech said according to the research, Covaxin “produced neutralising titres (meaning the concentration of antibodies) against all key emerging variants”.
“There was a modest reduction in neutralization by a factor of 1.95 was observed against B.1.617 variant compared to vaccine variant (D614G). Despite this reduction, neutralising titre levels with B.1.617 remain above levels expected to be protective,” read the excerpts highlighted by Bharat Biotech.
“Covaxin gets international recognition yet again, by scientific research data published demonstrating protection against the new variants. Yet another feather in its cap,” tweeted Suchitra Ella, the co-founder and Joint Managing Director of Bharat Biotech.
Covaxin gets international recognition yet again, by scientific research data published demonstrating protection against the new variants.Yet another feather in its cap????????@PMOIndia@nsitharaman@drharshvardhan@MoHFW_INDIA@ICMRDELHI@DBTIndia@doctorsoumya@BharatBiotechpic.twitter.com/AUhphvvivz
— suchitra ella (@SuchitraElla) May 15, 2021
She also tweeted a link of the article in the journal.
— suchitra ella (@SuchitraElla) May 16, 2021
Her tweet spurred questions on social media regarding the availability of Covaxin, which received emergency approval along with Oxford University’s Covishield in January.
The vaccine was launched in clinical trial mode as its third phase of trial was pending.
There were also questions on inviting other companies to manufacture the vaccine amid the current shortage, which has slowed down vaccination in the country despite the ongoing, aggressive second wave of Covid driven by lethal variants of the virus.
The Centre has already assured that it is willing to scale up production by roping in other companies willing to manufacture the vaccine.
“People say that Covaxin should be given to other companies for manufacturing. I am happy to say that Covaxin manufacturing company (Bharat Biotech) has welcomed this when we discussed it with them,” NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul said earlier this week.
There are concerns about the low vaccination numbers as experts warn of an impending third wave, which many fear may target children. Many experts have called for vaccinating all adults before that, hoping that it might break the chain of transmission.