New Delhi: In a recent development, a study conducted by Clinical Infectious Diseases in collaboration with National Institute of Virology and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the 'made in India' COVID-19 vaccine, which is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, produces neutralising titres against all new key variants of COVID-19 including the double mutant strain B.1.617 and B.1.1.7.
The peer-review publication, Clinical Infectious Diseases, on Sunday (May 16, 2021) revealed the findings of the new study. The publication wrote, “Vaccination with Covaxin produced neutralising titres against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.617 and B.1.1.7, first identified in India and the UK, respectively.”
The study also found no difference in neutralisation between the UK variant and the vaccine strain (D614G).
“A modest reduction in neutralisation by a factor of 1.95 was observed against the B.1.617 variant compared to vaccine variant (D614G),” the manuscript said.
“No difference in neutralisation between B.1.1.7 (first isolated in the UK) and vaccine strain (D614G) was observed,” the manuscript added.
Earlier, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan had also explained that Covaxin is more likely to work against newer variants like the UK variant and the double mutation (Indian variant, B.1.617).
India-based Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine, which is made up of killed coronaviruses. Bharat Biotech used a sample of the coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of Virology, to develop this vaccine. When administered, Covaxin immune cells can still recognise the dead virus, prompting the immune system to make antibodies against the pandemic virus.
This vaccine works by teaching the immune system to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Bharat Biotech to share Covaxin formula with other manufacturers
The leading drug maker Bharat Biotech is ready to share the formula of its anti-COVID vaccine Covaxin with other manufacturers. NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul informed that 'Bharat Biotech has welcomed this decision' on Thursday (May 13, 2021).
Dr. VK Paul reportedly said, "People say that Covaxin 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. Under this vaccine, live virus is inactivated & this is done only in BSL3 labs."