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Covaxin booster effective against Omicron, Delta: Bharat Biotech cites study

More than 90% of all individuals boosted with Covaxin showed neutralizing antibodies. All participants first received two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: January 13, 2022 7:20:35 am
Children aged between 15 and 18 receive Covid-19 vaccines in Pune. (Express Photo: Ashish Kale)

Bharat Biotech on Wednesday said an Emory University study has demonstrated that a booster dose of the pharma’s Covaxin administered six months after its two doses can neutralize the coronavirus’s Omicron and Delta variants, and that this is comparable with the efficacy of booster doses of mRNA vaccines against Omicron.

The new study will be published on the pre-print server medRXiv shortly, an official statement issued by the Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm said.

More than 90% of all individuals boosted with Covaxin showed neutralizing antibodies. All participants first received two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart. “As the dominant Covid-19 variant throughout the world, Omicron poses a serious public health concern,” said Mehul Suthar, assistant professor at the Emory Vaccine Center of the university in Atlanta, US, who led the laboratory analysis. “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.”

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of Covaxin against the Omicron variant, Ocugen contracted the Emory Vaccine Center to test human immune sera obtained from participants in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial. Sera was collected 28-days post booster–six months following the primary two-dose series. Each sera was tested in a neutralization assay. Following three doses, the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron variant measured in the samples was 75, compared with 480 against the Delta variant and 706 against a strain called D614G. This study was sponsored by Ocugen, Inc. And Bharat Biotech provided the sera from the Phase 2 study.

Earlier studies had shown the Indian-made vaccine’s neutralization potential against the virus’s Alpha, Beta, Delta, Zeta and Kappa variants.

 

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