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Opinion

‘Bharat Biotech vaccine may have some advantages …’: ICMR head at Covaxin, mutant strain

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The director general of the Indian Council for Medical Research, Dr Balram Bhargava, said on Sunday that the Bharat Biotech vaccine may have some advantages over other vaccines in the new mutant strain first detected in the UK, which has already infected 29 patients in India. His remarks came amid politicians from various opposition parties raising doubts about the efficacy of Covaxin, which was approved for emergency restricted use in India. ICMR has collaborated with Bharat Biotech to develop this vaccine. The National Institute of Virology in Pune is another partner in this indigenous vaccine project.

NIV has also successfully isolated and cultured the British variant of the virus, the world’s first, as ICMR said on Saturday.

“NIV scientists have successfully isolated the new strain of the virus and this will be tested with different vaccines. We hope that potentially the Bharat Biotech vaccine has some advantages over other vaccines in this new strain, ”said Dr. Bhargava.

Covaxin from Bharat Biotech can be used as a backup, says Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of AIIMS

The third phase trial of the Bharat Biotech vaccine is ongoing. So far there is no data on its percentage of efficacy, which is why the vaccine faces so many questions. But the main drug watchdog has said the vaccine has proven effective in its human and non-human trials so far. Although it has been approved for emergency use, your testing will continue.

But what makes experts think that Covaxin might be more effective than Oxford’s Covishield in combating the new strain? Covaxin is a full virion inactivated Covid-19 vaccine, while the Oxford vaccine works differently: it produces a spike protein on the surface that primes the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it then infects the body. .

AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria has also said that the Bharat Biotech vaccine will be a backup or for emergency use where the effectiveness of the Oxford vaccine is not certain.

“We do not know for how long a vaccine will be effective, we do not know how much population we will have to vaccinate to break the transmission of the virus. What we know is that we have been able to control the pandemic in the country by following the appropriate behavior of Covid, ”Bhargava told ANI.

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