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Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin’s phase-3 trial data looks good, says WHO Chief Scientist

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin’s phase-3 trial data looks good, says WHO Chief Scientist

New Delhi: Talking about the efficacy of Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ against Covid-19, WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Thursday asserted that the data from the phase 3 trial of the vaccine looks quite good. Dr Soumya Swaminathan revealed that the pre-submission meeting for Covaxin’s phase 3 trial data was held on June 23 and the data packet is being assembled.

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In an interview with a leading news channel, the WHO Chief Scientist said that “The overall efficacy is quite high. The vaccine efficacy against the Delta variant is low but it is still quite good.” The statement comes as Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin awaits WHO approval.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan also said, “We keep a close eye on all vaccines which have received emergency use listing. We continue to seek more data.”

In the interview, Swaminathan also stated that most parts of the world have seen an uptick in coronavirus cases with no reduction in the number of COVID-related deaths, except in America. She also added that India can take inspiration from countries like the United Kingdom and try to boost their shots as they are.

While on the topic, WHO Chief Scientist said that the organisation still does not recommend booster shots, adding that every country’s primary focus should remain on widening the scope of primary COVID-19 vaccinations.

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Swaminathan also stated that one of the major reasons behind the spike in the number of COVID-related death, in Africa and other nations, is the spread of the Delta variant of the SARS-COV-2 that was first found in India. Listing out the reason for worry, she said the original strain could infect three people, the Delta variant can infect 6-8.

Additionally, the chief scientist of WHO said that the world could witness another surge in coronavirus cases if the virus mutates further.

Lastly, Swaminathan stressed the need for social distancing and the usage of face masks. The chief scientist said even after 70 percent of a nation’s population is vaccinated the remaining 30 percent stay at rest. Vaccines alone are not enough, she said adding that the government needs to continue with the testing and tracking method.

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