Administration of precautionary doses is scheduled to begin from January 10 and just two days ahead of it, Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) has released the phase 2 trial data of Covaxin as a booster dose. According to the Hyderabad-based company, the trial data showed that a booster dose of Covaxin, a whole-virion inactivated COVID-19 vaccine, is safe and may be necessary to ensure persistent immunity to prevent breakthrough infections. The company also highlighted that Covaxin is the first vaccine in India to report safety and immunogenicity results from a booster clinical trial.
During the trial, it was found that cell-mediated immunity and neutralizing antibodies persisted above baseline, but the magnitude of the responses had declined. When a booster dose of Covaxin was administered after six months of administering both the doses, neutralizing antibodies against homologous and heterologous variants of COVID-19 increased 19 to 265 fold.
According to Kirshna Ella – chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech – these results provide a strong foundation towards the company’s goal to provide Covaxin as a booster dose.
“Our goals of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 have been achieved. Covaxin is now indicated for adults, children, 2 dose primary and booster doses. This enables the use of Covaxin as a universal vaccine,” Ella said.
It must be noted that Covaxin has been developed in such a way that the same dose can be administered to both kids and adults. The ready to use liquid vaccine is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius and has a shelf life of around 12 months. Also, the same dose can be used as two dose primary immunization and then for the booster dose. The company says that this makes it a truly universal vaccine.