Covaxin can neutralise Indian 617 variant of COVID-19, says US pandemic expert


White House chief medical advisor and America’s top pandemic expert Dr Anthony Fauci during a conference call on Tuesday said that India’s indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin has been found to neutralize the B.1.617 variant of the deadly virus. B.1.617 variant is one of the known variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus, which was first identified in India.

Fauci stated that, ‘This is something where we’re still gaining data on a daily basis. But the most recent data was looking at convalescent Sera of Covid-19 cases and people who received the vaccine used in India, the Covaxin. It was found to neutralize the 617 variant’.

Talking about the current crisis being faced by India, Dr Fauci emphasized on the importance of getting jabbed. So, despite the real difficulty that we’re seeing in India, vaccination could be a very, very important antidote against this, later he added.

The report of the study said, “Twelve isolates of VUI lineage B.1.617 were propagated in VeroCCL81 cells and characterized. Convalescent sera of the COVID-19 cases and recipients of BBV152 (Covaxin) were able to neutralize VUI B.1.617.”

The efficacy of Covaxin against this variant was tested using the sera collected from Covid-19 infected persons who were administered the vaccine during phase-2 of the clinical trial. The study showed that the efficacy of the vaccine against B.1.617 variant was same as the efficacy against other earlier variants like B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and B.

Covaxin developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech Ltd in collaboration with ICMR showed 78 percent efficacy in trial results.