India’s Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech, has been confirmed to effectively neutralise both Alpha and Delta variants of Coronavirus.
The US National Institute of Health (NIH) said that results of two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralize the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the UK and India, respectively.
The top American health research institute 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 to date in India and elsewhere.
Adjuvants are substances that formulate as part of a vaccine to boost the immune responses and enhance the 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.
Meanwhile, unpublished interim results from the phase 3 trial indicate that the vaccine has 78 percent efficacy against symptomatic disease, 100 percent efficacy against severe COVID-19, including hospitalization, and 70 per cent efficacy against asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Ending a global pandemic requires a global response, and we all need to do our part in this fight. Stay home, stay safe, and get vaccinated at the earliest.