Covaxin, India’s own Covid vaccine, ‘highly efficacious’: study
A health worker inoculate man with a dose of the Covaxin vaccine in the Indian city of Bangalore. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP via Getty Images)
INDIA’S first home-made Covid-19 vaccine is “highly efficacious” and has zero safety concern, a study published in renowned medical journal Lancet on Thursday (11) said.
Covaxin, which is developed by Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad in the South Indian state of Telangana, got emergency approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO) last week and has been cleared for use in 17 countries.
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The WHO has called the vaccine “extremely suitable for low- and middle-income countries due to easy storage requirements”. Some of the other vaccines that have been approved need to be stored at very low temperatures, resulting in problems related to logistics and cost.
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According to the Lancet report, Covaxin “was highly efficacious against laboratory-confirmed symptomatic Covid-19 disease in adults”.
The vaccine was also “well tolerated with no safety concerns raised in this interim analysis”, the report added.
The WHO has said that Covaxin has a 78 per cent efficacy rate after two doses over a month. The India-manufactured jab has joined other coronavirus vaccines such as Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson, Sinopharm and Sinovac on the list of WHO-approved vaccines.
The roll-out of Covaxin can “increase the finite global manufacturing capacity, and improve insufficient supply of vaccines which disproportionately affects low-income and middle-income countries”, said Li Jingxin Li and Zhu Fengcai, two Chinese researchers who did not take part in the study.
They however pointed out certain limitations to the study, including that the trials had been conducted only in India and there was a less ethnically diverse study group, AFP reported.
It also said that the studies were carried out between November 2020 and January 2021 when the more contagious Delta variant of the virus had not become a widespread menace.
The researchers, however, could identify which of the patients were infected with the Delta variant and for the sub-group, the study found that Covaxin provided protection against Covid but to a slightly less extent.