COVID-19: Covaxin effective against Delta Plus variant, shows ICMR study

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, August 02, 2021, 05:27 PM IST
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Ever since the outbreak of COVID-19, many variants have been found then acroos many parts of the globe, out of which Delta Plus is being considered as one of the most infectious due to its faster spreading rate. With many countries trying to make a vaccine for the virus, Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin (BBV152) is effective against Delta Plus (AY.1) variant of the coronavirus, according to a study published in biorxivby the Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR).

Covaxin is developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech which has shown an overall vaccine efficacy of 77.8% based on the results from the Phase 3 trials.

Several cases related to Delta Plus variant have been reported in the country so far. However, it is unclear whether the variant impacts vaccine efficacy. The MoHFW on June 22 designated the 'Delta Plus' variant of the novel coronavirus, as a "variant of concern". Currently, India has as many as 70 cases of Delta plus variant.

According to the study, "A minor reduction was observed in the neutralizing antibody titer in COVID- 19 recovered cases full BBV152 vaccinated and post immunized infected cases compared to COVID-19 naive vaccinated individuals." The study was conducted with samples collected from three groups.

Group 1 samples were collected after two doses with a gap of 2.5 to 22 weeks, "Group 1, Sera of individuals vaccinated with two doses of COVAXIN [Female (n=24) and Male (n=18)] collected between 2.5 to 22 weeks after second dose." After group 1, samples of those individuals were collected who had taken the second dose and recovered from Covid-19, "Group 2: COVID-19 recovered cases with two doses of COVAXIN [female (n=8); male (n=6)], collected 14-70 weeks after the second dose." The last samples were collected from group 3, "Group 3: breakthrough cases post two-dose COVAXIN vaccinations [female (n=17); male (n=13)] collected between 2-18 weeks." "However, with the observed high titers, the sera of individuals belonging to all the aforementioned groups they would still neutralize the Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3 variants effectively," said the study.

According to Dr Samiran Panda, Immunization is key to protect from severity and deaths in the current situation and reduce the burden on healthcare system.

The Hyderabad-based company said that the Covaxin has been proven 'safe' in India's largest efficacy trial and shared the final Phase 3 Pre-Print data published on medRxiv.

The Phase 3 trials also showed that Covaxin’s efficacy against asymptomatic COVID-19 was 63.6%, while it was 65.2% against the Delta variant (B.1.617.2).

(With agency inputs)

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