The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said that Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine COVAXIN is effective against various variants of the novel SARS-CoV-2. The ICMR added that the indigenously developed vaccine is also effective against the double mutant strain.
COVAXIN was developed in collaboration with Bharat Biotech, the ICMR and the National Institute of Virology. This vaccine was developed using a coronavirus sample isolated by the NIV.
COVAXIN has received emergency use authorisations in India and other countries globally. The ICMR tweeted, "ICMR study shows #COVAXIN neutralises against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively neutralises the double mutant strain as well."
ICMR study shows #COVAXIN neutralises against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively neutralises the double mutant strain as well. @MoHFW_INDIA@DeptHealthRes#IndiaFightsCOVID19#LargestVaccineDrivepic.twitter.com/syv5T8eHuR— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) April 21, 2021
In order to arrive at this conclusion, the ICMR- National Institute of Virology isolated and cultured multiple variants of the virus-B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.1.28 (Brazil variant) and B.1.1.351 (South Africa variant). India's premier health research body said that COVAXIN has shown its potential in neutralising the UK and Brazil variants.
Recently, ICMR-NIV was successful in isolating and culturing the double mutant strain B.1.617 SARS-CoV-2 which has been identified in Maharashtra and several other countries. This led to several countries like Hong Kong, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, the US and the UK impose travel restrictions on India. According to ICMR, "Covaxin has been found to effectively neutralise the double mutant strain as well."
Meanwhile, Bharat Biotech and ICMR have declared the interim results of the phase 3 trials of COVAXIN. While the vaccine has a 100 per cent efficacy rate in phase 3 trials against severe COVID-19, it has a clinical efficacy of 78 per cent.
Edited by Mehak Agarwal