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There is much concern about vaccine efficacy against the Omicrom variant of COVID-19. Even the WHO has gone on record to say that vaccines will have to be updated for Omicron. Now, in a piece of good news, it has been scientifically proven that Bharat Biotech's Covaxin generates robust neutralizing antibody responses against both the Omicron and Delta variants of the deadly coronavirus that has held the world captive for the last two years. Bharat Biotech has said that researchers from Emory University successfully demonstrated this during the course of their study, which will be published on the pre-print server, medRXiv, shortly.
For the purpose of the study, researchers administered participants with the initial 2 doses of Covaxin at Day 0 and Day 28. All participants were then given the third dose after 6 months. They saw that more than 90 per cent of the participants showed neutralizing antibodies after receiving the third dose. Subjects who were administered a booster dose of Covaxin six months after getting the second dose of the same vaccine neutralized both the Omicron and Delta variants. Earlier studies had also demonstrated that this vaccine can neutralise other 'variants of concern' like Alpha, Beta, Delta, Zeta and Kappa.
According to Mehul Suthar from the Emory Vaccine Center, "Data from this preliminary analysis show individuals receiving a booster dose of Covaxin have a significant immune response to both the Omicron and Delta variants. These findings suggest that a booster dose has the potential to reduce disease severity and hospitalizations."
Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech said, "We are in a continuous state of innovation and product development for Covaxin. The positive neutralization responses against the Omicron and Delta variants, validates our hypothesis of a multi-epitope vaccine generating both humoral and cell mediated immune responses. Our goals of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 have been achieved with the use of Covaxin as a universal vaccine for adults and children."
This is a whole virus inactivated COVID-19 vaccine. This makes it a viable option in this continuously evolving pandemic. One unique this about this vaccine is that it has been formulated in such a way that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children. It can be easily stored at 2 - 8 C and has a shelf life of 12 months. It is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology).
(With inputs from Agencies)
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