covaxin vaccine COVAXIN explained that can neutralize double mutant strains in the UK, says ICMR: Implications of the study

Representative image.

Representative image. | Photo Credit: PTI

Key Highlights

  • Last week, reports revealed that nearly 50 percent of all COVID-19 samples sent for genome sequencing from Maharashtra showed a double mutation – perhaps the clearest indication yet that this new variant, B.1.617, the behind the surge in infections.
  • After seeking funding from the central government, Krishna Ella noted that Bharat Biotech has increased its vaccine production capacity to 700 million doses a year in what has arrived as a very welcome development.
  • If all goes according to plan, it then follows that India’s immunization campaign will, in the coming months, receive a much needed boost through the increasing availability of a vaccine that has now been proven in neutralizing what has become. is one of the most worrying variants of COVID-19

The Medical Research Council of India said on Wednesday that the Covid-19 vaccine, COVAXIN, manufactured by Bharat Biotech was found to be effective against the double-mutant strain, B.1.617 of SARS-CoV-2 as well as others. variations circulating in the country.

ICMR National Institute of Virology scientists also reported that they isolated and cultured the double mutant strain that is reputed to have E484Q and L452R mutations. Studies from other countries had suggested that the E484Q mutation gave the variant more immune escape potential while the L452R mutation was revealed to increase infectivity, having previously been linked to a US infection cluster.

As such, concerns have been raised about whether the double mutant strain could be responsible for the massive surge in infections that India has witnessed. On Wednesday, India recorded 2,95,041 alarming fresh cases of COVID-19 setting another daily record, reflecting how widespread the infection has become specifically in provinces like Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Last week, reports revealed that nearly 50 percent of all COVID-19 samples sent for genome sequencing from Maharashtra showed a double mutation – perhaps the clearest indication yet that this new variant, B.1.617, the behind the surge in infections. The variation was also found in samples from eight other provinces.

Against this background, the latest ICMR notification will go some way towards alleviating concern about the potential for the B.1.617 strain to cause havoc. COVAXIN Bharat Biotech had initially come under some criticism on the back of a central government decision to give it regulatory approval even before the manufacturer announced the results of Phase 3 clinical trials. However, two months later, Bharat Biotech announced its set first of preliminary results from Phase 3 trials which indicated that its vaccine had an efficacy of 80.6 percent.

Although truly positive, the manufacturer’s production capability is currently positioning COVAXIN as an alternative to the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Indian Serum Institute. According to reports, the Serum Institute of India currently can produce about 65 to 70 million doses of Covishield per month. Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna Ella has previously stated that the manufacturer had produced 15 million doses in March.

However, after seeking funding from central government, Ella also noted that the manufacturer had increased its vaccine production capacity to 700 million doses a year in what was a very welcome development. “Last month we produced 15 million doses, this month we’re reaching 20 million doses, next month we’re doing about 30 million doses and then 70 to 75 million doses,” he said.

If all goes according to plan, it then follows that India’s immunization campaign will, in the coming months, receive a much needed boost through the increasing availability of a vaccine that has now been proven in neutralizing what has become. is one of the most worrying variants of COVID-19.

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