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Covaxin booster dose neutralises Omicron & Delta Covid variants: Bharat Biotech

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date
Covaxin booster dose neutralises Omicron & Delta Covid variants: Bharat Biotech

New Delhi: Bharat Biotech today said that trials have indicated that a booster shot of Covaxin neutralises the Delta and Omicron variants of Covid.

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Booster dose of Covaxin generated robust neutralising antibody responses against both Omicron and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, Bharat Biotech said.The study was conducted at the Emory Vaccine Center in Atlanta based on blood serum collected from 13 individuals, 28 days after their booster shot. It was sponsored by Bharat Biotech’s partner Ocugen Inc.

“The neutralisation activity of Covaxin-boosted sera was comparable to what has been observed in mRNA vaccine-boosted sera against the Omicron variant,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement. “More than 90% of all individuals boosted with Covaxin showed neutralising antibodies.”

Bharat Biotech had earlier said trials have indicated that its vaccine Covaxin is safe for booster dosage against Covid-19. The Hyderabad-based company had announced the results on the safety and immunogenicity of COVAXIN (BBV152).

The analysis showed, six months after a two-dose Covaxin (BBV152) vaccination series cell-mediated immunity and neutralising antibodies to both homologous (D614G) and heterologous strains (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Delta plus) persisted above baseline, although the magnitude of the responses had declined, the company said.

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Furthermore, neutralising antibodies against homologous and heterologous SARS-CoV-2 variants increased from 19 to 265 folds after a third vaccination, it said.

Booster BBV152 vaccination is safe and may be necessary to ensure persistent immunity to prevent breakthrough infections, it further said.

“These trial results provide a strong foundation towards our goal to provide Covaxin as a booster dose. Our goal of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 has been achieved with Covaxin indicated for adults, children, two dose primary and booster doses. This enables use of the vaccine as a universal vaccine,” Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said.

Further, reactogenicity after vaccine and placebo was minimal and comparable, and no serious adverse events were reported, the company said referring to the trial results.

“Based on emerging data, Bharat Biotech believes that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection,” it added.

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Bharat Biotech observed that Covaxin is formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children alike.

In the last two weeks, India has witnessed a surge in daily Covid cases led by the Omicron variant. India recorded 1,94,720 new infections today to its tally of COVID-19 cases pushing it to 3,60,70,510, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

At a press conference today, Joint Secretary in Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said that as many as 300 districts in India are reporting weekly Covid case positivity of more than 5%.

The Centre has also urged people to not take the Omicron variant of coronavirus lightly and get vaccinated.

“Omicron is not the common cold, cannot take it lightly. We need to be vigilant, get vaccinated and follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. Vaccination is an important pillar in our Covid response programme,” said NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul.

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