Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is capable of neutralising the Alpha and Delta variants of COVID-19, according to the National Institute of Health(NIH) of the United States. The US health research agency has said that the vaccine creates antibodies that neutralise the B.1.1.7(Alpha) and B.1.617 (Delta) variants of SARS-CoV-2. The conclusion was reached on the basis of two studies conducted on the blood serum of people who were vaccinated with Covaxin.
Covaxin is an indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine made by Indian pharma company Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the state run medical body ICMR.
The NIH further informed that Covaxin contains an adjuvant that was developed in Kansas, United States after receiving funding under the NIAID Adjuvant Development Program of the health body. Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of NIAID, said, “I am pleased that a novel vaccine adjuvant developed in the US with NIAID support is part of an efficacious COVID-19 vaccine available to people in India, “The adjuvant, named Alhydroxiquim-II, was acquired in 2019, by Bharat Biotech under a licensing agreement for use in vaccines.
The NIH said that Covaxin was ‘safe and well-tolerated’ according to data released from the phase 2 trials. On the basis of interim results from the phase 3 trial, it is 78% effective against symptomatic disease, the American health agency added.
The Delta variant of Coronavirus was first detected in India and has been declared a ‘variant of concern’ by the US CDC. The new variant has spread to several countries and has raised questions regarding the efficacy of vaccines against it. The Alpha variant was first detected in the UK earlier this year.