Vaccine developed by India’s Bharat Biotech and a government research institute is likely to be effective against the UK strain of the coronavirus.
The findings on COVAXIN, which is in use in India after receiving emergency-use approval early this month, have been published in Reuters.
“Sera from the vaccine recipients could neutralise the UK-variant strains discounting the uncertainty around potential escape,” wrote scientists from the company and its partner, the state-run Indian Council of Medical Research.
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) January 27, 2021
“It is unlikely that the mutation 501Y would be able to dampen the potential benefits of the vaccine in concern.”
A vaccine developed by U.S. Company Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech was also likely to protect against the more infectious variant that has now spread around the world, with 150 cases in India.
India’s drug regulator had advertised its ability to act against the whole body of a virus instead of just its “spike-protein” tip, making it potentially more effective in case of mutations while approving the COVAXIN without any efficacy data from an ongoing late-stage trial.
On Jan. 16, India has already expanded the use of the vaccine in its massive immunization programme that began and has so far covered more than 2 million people on the frontline such as sanitation workers, nurses and doctors.
COVAXIN developed by @BharatBiotech with @ICMRDELHI has equivalent immunogenicity against the UK-variant & circulating strains of SARS-COV-2 in India.@icmr_niv is the first in the world to culture the UK variant. Read more: https://t.co/HfhH8z6T8x / J Travel Med (In Press) pic.twitter.com/cGp537bi0H
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) January 27, 2021
India which is the world’s second most populous country, has reported the most number of COVID-19 infections after the United States. It has also approved the Oxford University-AstraZeneca shot for emergency use.
On Wednesday India reported 12,689 new infections, taking the total to 10.69 million, while the death count rose to 153,724 by 137.
Bharat Biotech has sought emergency-use authorisation for its vaccine in the Philippines and is also in talks with Brazil to sell shots.