Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin effective against Delta plus variant

Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, provides protection against Delta Plus (AY.1) variant of coronavirus, a new study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR) has stated. The study is a pre-print and has not been peer-reviewed. Covaxin, a whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine used for mass immunization in the country, showed a 65.2 per cent protection against the Delta variant in a double-blind, randomised, multicentre, phase 3 clinical trial.

The Delta variant which has spread to 99 countries is a variant of concern and the recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant with its high transmissibility has led to the second wave in India. Of these, AY.1 variant was first detected in India in April 2021 and subsequently reported from 20 other countries as well, the study said. “The results of the study reveal covaxin neutralises the Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3 variants effectively,” the ICMR stated. Subsequently, Delta has further mutated to Delta AY.1, AY.2, and AY.3 and these Delta variant has also been identified as the leading cause of breakthrough infections globally among vaccinated individuals, the study said. The study said that a minor reduction in the neutralising antibody titer in Covid-19 recovered cases and full BBV152 vaccinated and post immunized infected cases was observed but the vaccine was found to be effective against the Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3 variants.