Bharat Biotech on Wednesday declared that Covaxin had a 100 percent efficacy against severe COVID-19 disease, but the company later revealed that against the protection from asymptomatic COVID-19 infection, the efficacy was only 70 percent. This announcement was made via press release after obtaining the results of the phase 3 trial of the coronavirus vaccine.
A joint operation by ICMR, the National Institute of Virology (NIV), and vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech led to the birth of Covaxin. Recently after ICMR and NIV successfully managed to isolate and culture the double mutant variant of the virus found in India and several other countries, it issued a statement declaring the vaccine's ability to neutralize the variant. "Covaxin has been found to effectively neutralize the double mutant strain as well," it said.
The efficacy of Covaxin has dropped from 81 percent as reported in March to 78 percent.
The data was obtained after an analysis of 127 coronavirus-positive volunteers.
The safety and efficacy results from the final analysis would be available in June, and the final report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication.
"Based on the achievement of the success criteria, placebo recipients have now become eligible to receive two doses of COVAXIN," stated Bharat Biotech.
Dr. Krishna Ella, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said that COVAXIN has demonstrated an excellent safety record in human clinical trials and in usage under emergency use. He added by saying that the efficacy data against severe COVID-19 and asymptomatic infections is highly significant as this helps reduce hospitalizations and disease transmission.
Prof. Balram Bhargava, Secretary Dept. of Health Research & Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research credited the tireless efforts of the scientists at ICMR and BBIL which resulted in the creation of an international standard vaccine that works well against most variants of SARS-CoV-2.
"The tireless efforts of our scientists at ICMR and BBIL have resulted in a truly effective international vaccine of the highest standards and efficacy. I am also happy to note that COVAXIN works well against most variants of SARS-CoV-2. These findings together consolidate the position of our indigenous vaccine in the global vaccine landscape," stated Prof. Bhargava.
So far around 11 million doses of COVAXIN have been administered in India compared to 117 million doses of Covishield.
Bharat Biotech in its press statement said, "The company's efforts to further develop COVAXIN continues, with clinical trials planned in India and globally to evaluate its safety and immunogenicity in younger age groups, the impact of booster doses, and protection against SARS-CoV-2 variants."
Meanwhile, India, as of Wednesday, recorded the highest ever single-day spike in the cases of the novel coronavirus with an astonishing 3.14 Lakhs, the highest the world has ever witnessed in a single day. The total tally of active caseloads in the country presently is 22.84 lakhs taking the total number of cases registered in this country so far to 1.59 crores. Meanwhile, India reported 2,104 COVID-induced fatalities taking the total tally of fatalities to 1.84 lakhs. Read more