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Delta Variant In India: Covaxin Effectively Neutralises New COVID-19 Variants, Says Top US Experts

The newly found Delta COVID-19 variant which was first detected in India is highly transmissible and infectious compared to the other strains.

In a major relief, the US' National Institute of Health has said that India's Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, effectively neutralises both Alpha and Delta variants of coronavirus. At a time when the world was witnessing a dip in the daily coronavirus cases that wrecked havoc in its second wave, another variant which is highly transmissible and infectious has been detected affecting the humans. The newly found COVID-19 variant Delta and Delta Plus has reportedly spread across over 90 countries already. In India, many states have already reported cases of the new variants. The central government on Monday gave an update on the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus, saying it is now present in 12 states.

Covaxin Effectively Neutralises COVID-19 Delta Variant

In the report, the NIH said that the results of two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralise the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in the UK and India, respectively.

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The top American health research institute, which has a history of strong scientific collaboration with India, 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 till date in India and elsewhere.

Adjuvants are substances formulated as part of a vaccine to boost immune responses and enhance a 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"Meanwhile, unpublished interim results from the phase 3 trial indicate that the vaccine has 78 per cent efficacy against symptomatic disease, 100 per cent efficacy against severe COVID-19, including hospitalisation, and 70 per cent efficacy against asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19," it said. "The results from two studies of blood serum from people who had received Covaxin suggest that the vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralise 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 NIH said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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