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Why Covaxin May Have An Advantage Against New Virus Variants | India News

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NEW DELHI: Bharat Biotech President and Managing Director Dr. Kishna Ella said that its Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, would be effective on mutant strains of the coronavirus and is therefore justified in receiving emergency approval to despite the lack of data on its efficacy and an incomplete phase 3 trial.
“It’s just a hypothesis right now … Just give me a week’s time to get the data. I’m sure it will work, ”he said Monday. The director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Dr. Balram Bhargava, had also expressed his confidence that the vaccine would be effective against new variants of the coronavirus. ICMR and the National Institute of Virology worked with Bharat Biotech to create the vaccine.

To be clear, Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have also said that their vaccines would be effective against the new variant of the virus first identified in the UK, as mutations in it, including the spike protein, have not drastically changed its characteristics. .
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But there is a particular reason for Bharat Biotech’s reliance on their product: the vaccine does not rely on peak protein production to elicit an immune response, but instead contains the virus itself, albeit inactivated, to boost the immune response. .

Covaxin is an inactivated virus vaccine, a proven science that has been used to develop vaccines against polio, rabies, and hepatitis A. NIV, together with the ICMR, isolated samples of the coronavirus circulating in the country. These viruses are then inactivated using chemicals so that they can no longer replicate, rendering them incapable of causing Covid-19: During an infection, the virus replicates in our body after entering the cell, creating new copies.

The virus is then mixed with adjuvants to form the basic building block of the vaccine, which when administered causes the immune system to wake up and begin its self-defense mechanism, summoning B cells to create antibodies. The vaccine also activates memory B cells, which can help once antibody levels drop, an expected process.

Therefore, Bharat Biotech believes that by not relying solely on the spike protein, it has a better chance against new variants of the virus. For context, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines contain genetic material (messenger RNA) that instructs our cells to make spike proteins, tricking our immune systems into believing that the host has been infected.

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