Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin, which is made by Bharat Biotech, has been found to effectively neutralise the double mutant strain, B.1.617, of SARS-CoV-2 and other variants, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said.
Dr Samiran Panda, chief of epidemiology and communicable diseases division of ICMR, said it is good news and hoped that there will be less anxiety among people in the second wave with this new information about the vaccine. Covaxin has been found to effectively neutralise the double mutant strain also apart from other variants of concern, Dr Panda said.
At ICMR-National Institute of Virology, scientists said they have isolated and cultured the double mutant strain which has E484Q and L452R mutations. They have also isolated and cultured all variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 virus: B.1.1.7 (UK variant); B.18.104.22.168 (Brazil variant) and B.1.351 (South African variant), the scientists said.
ICMR scientists said the NIV has demonstrated the neutralisation potential of Covaxin against the UK variant and Brazil variant. The data for the South African variant is being generated. Recently, ICMR-NIV successfully isolated and cultured the double mutant strain B.1.617 (E484Q and L452R) prevalent in certain regions of India.
Bharat Biotech also tweeted that with the accelerated Phase 3 vaccination schedule starting on May 1, it is essential to know the answers to vaccine efficacy and listed details in their blog.