Covaxin Effective Against Brazil Variant of Covid-19, Finds ICMR-NIV Study

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A new study conducted by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology has found the indigenously produced Covaxin is effective against the Brazil variant of coronavirus, B.1.128.2.

According to a report in The Indian Express, the study found the two-dose vaccine, developed by ICMR in collaboration with Bharat Biotech, significantly boosted the antibody and neutralising efficacy against the Brazil variant and D614G variant, which replaced the original Wuhan strain and became dominant globally, as compared to that seen with natural infection. After taking two doses, vaccine recipients had considerable immunity against the variant.

Led by NIV scientists Gajanan Sapkal, Pragya Yadav, Priya Abraham and others, the study found the vaccine to have robust neutralisation of B1 and B.1.1.28.2 variants among recipients. Recent studies have also found Covaxin to be effective against the UK variant as well as the Indian (double mutant) variant B.1.617.

The report said the research focused on the IgG immune response and neutralising activity of 19 convalescent sera specimens obtained from recovered cases of Covid-19 and confirmed for UK, South African and Brazil variants (15 to 113 days after a positive test) and from 42 participants immunised with an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, BBV 152 (Covaxin), as part of a second-phase clinical trial (two months after the second dose).

At present, besides Covaxin, Covishield by Serum Institute of India is being administered to Indians to fight against coronavirus. The Russia-made Sputnik V vaccine is also likely to be administered soon after Dr Reddy’s was given approval for its emergency use in India.

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