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Covaxin 'effectively neutralises' Alpha, Delta Covid-19 variants, says US National Institute of Health

According to NIH, the US' primary health agency, the observation is based on results of two studies of blood serum from people who received a Covaxin shot.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Karan Manral | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUN 30, 2021 06:56 AM IST
The Covaxin anti-Covid vaccine (Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

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.

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"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.

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"Unpublished interim results from phase 3 trials indicate that Covaxin is 78% efficient against symptomatic disease while its efficacy against severe Covid-19 is 100%.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.

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NIH further said an adjuvant developed with funding from it has contributed to Covaxin's success, describing the shot as "highly efficacious." An adjuvant is a substance formulated as part of a vaccine to boost immune responses and enhance its effectiveness.

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. Russia's Sputnik V was given emergency use authorisation (EUA) in April, while US pharmaceutical firm Moderna's mRNA-based vaccine on Tuesday received approval to be used here. In the coming days, Pfizer and Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila could also be approved. If approved, the Zydus Cadila shot will be India's second indigenous anti-Covid vaccine after Covaxin.

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