Covaxin effective against Brazil, UK and Indian ‘double mutant’ COVID-19 strain

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Brazil variant of the novel coronavirus, B.1.128.2, Indian ‘double mutant’ variant, and the British strain.

The study conducted by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV) claims that the two-dose regimen significantly boosted IgG antibody titer and neutralizing efficacy against the Brazil variant and D614G variant as compared to that seen with natural infection, The Indian Express reported.

India is presently using two COVID-19 vaccines — indigenously made Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield. Covishield was also found to neutralize the double mutant.

Sputnik V has also been granted emergency use authorization, and rollout is expected in the next few months.

Led by NIV scientists Gajanan Sapkal, Pragya Yadav, Priya Abraham, and others, the new study, published in bioRxiv on April 30, showed that Covaxin is effective against Brazil variant, the report said.

Earlier, ICMR had said that Covaxin “successfully isolated and cultured multiple variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 virus – B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.1.28 (Brazil variant ) and B.1.351 (South Africa variant).”

It was found to neutralize the double mutant strain as well, ICMR had said.

The B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV2 has been found prevalent largely in Maharashtra and Delhi that have been severely hit by a devastating second wave of the pandemic.

Developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with NIV and ICMR, Covaxin was approved for emergency use in January.

Trial results later showed the vaccine demonstrated 78 percent overall efficacy and 100 percent in severe COVID-19 cases.

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