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Covaxin effective against Brazil variant, finds ICMR-NIV study



In a new study, researchers at the Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology have found that Covaxin is effective against the Brazilian variant, B.1.128.2.

This finding comes close to the heels of their study, which also suggested that Covaxin was effective against the British variant as well as the Indian (double mutant) variant B.1.617.

India is currently using two Covid-19 vaccines – Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and Covishield by the Serum Institute of India – to vaccinate people across the country.

In this new study, published in bioRxiv preprint on April 30, researchers have shown that Covaxin is effective against the Brazilian variant. The study shows that the two-dose regimen significantly increased IgG antibody titers and neutralizing effect against the Brazil variant and the D61

4G variant compared to that seen with natural infection.

Led by NIV researchers Gajanan Sapkal, Pragya Yadav, Priya Abraham and others, they said it was robust neutralization of B1 and B.1.1.28.2 variants among vaccine recipients.

Researchers determined the IgG immune response and neutralization activity of the 19 convalescent sera samples obtained from recovered cases of Covid-19 and confirmed for UK (B.1.1.7), South Africa (B.1.351) and Brazil (B.1.1.28.2 ) variants (15 to 113 days after a positive test) and from 42 participants immunized with an inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, BBV 152 (Covaxin), as part of a Phase II clinical trial (two months after the second dose) .

The response was observed with recovered cases, but the study found a better response from samples from Covaxin recipients, researchers said.

India has reported cases infected with SARS-CoV-2 UK variant (B.1.1.7). Recently, the South African variant (B.1.351) and the Brazil variant P2 genus (B.1.1.28.2) have also been detected in international travelers.

The effect of the emergence of these new variants on the effect of the currently available Covid-19 vaccines or the neutralizing ability of sera in individuals naturally infected with the previously circulating strains is currently being studied.

Although some of the vaccines appear to be effective against the British variant, it has been shown that the effect against the South African variant is lower.

According to a recent report by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), among 15,000 sequenced samples, 11 percent included these variants of concern.

Until the first week of April, the number of cases involving UK, South Africa and Brazil variants in the country has reached 948.


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