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Covaxin ‘effectively neutralises’ Alpha, Delta COVID-19 variants, says top US Health Institute

Covaxin, along with the Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot, has been used since the beginning of India's nationwide vaccine drive against the viral disease on January 16.

Covaxin effectively neutralises Alpha, Delta COVID-19 variants, says top US Health Institute-dnm
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Washington D.C., First Published Jun 30, 2021, 10:09 AM IST
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The US National Institute of Health has said Covaxin “effectively neutralises” both Alpha and Delta variants of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in what is a major endorsement of the anti-Covid vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech International Limited.

The NIH said results of two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralise the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the UK and India, respectively.

"Results of two studies of blood serum from people who received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies which effectively neutralise the Alpha and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2," NIH, the top American health institute, said of Bharat Biotech's shot, developed in collaboration with the government-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Alpha or the B.1.1.7 variant was first detected in the UK, while Delta, or the B1.617 variant was first found in India.

The top American health research institute, which has a history of strong scientific collaboration with India, also said that an adjuvant developed with funding from it has contributed to the success of the highly efficacious Covaxin, which has been administered to roughly 25 million people till date in India and elsewhere.

Adjuvants are substances formulated as part of a vaccine to boost immune responses and enhance a vaccine's effectiveness.

Covaxin comprises a disabled form of SARS-CoV-2 that cannot replicate but still stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the virus. Published results from a phase 2 trial of the vaccine indicate that it is safe and well tolerated, the NIH said, adding that safety data from a phase 3 trial of Covaxin will become available later this year.

"Unpublished interim results from phase 3 trials indicate that Covaxin is 78% efficient against symptomatic disease while its efficacy against severe Covid-19 is 100%. Further, it has shown 70% efficacy against asymptomatic infection with Sars-CoV-2, the Covid-19 causing virus," NIH noted, stressing that the vaccine is "safe and well tolerated." The vaccine makers recently submitted phase 3 trial data to an expert panel which found it to be 77.8% effective against symptomatic Covid-19, in line with the interim trial analysis.

Ending a global pandemic requires a global response, said Anthony S Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH.

"I am pleased that a novel vaccine adjuvant developed in the US with NIAID support is part of an efficacious Covid-19 vaccine available to people in India," he said.

Covaxin, along with the Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot, has been used since the beginning of India's nationwide vaccine drive against the viral disease on January 16.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona 

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