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Covaxin booster can neutralise Omicron: Bharat Biotech
Covaxin's booster dose is able to neutralise the vaccine evading Omicron variant of Covid-19, according to a study conducted at US' Emory University, Bharat Biotech announced on Wednesday.
Earlier studies have demonstrated the neutralising potential of Covaxin against other SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, Zeta, and Kappa, it said.
The new study demonstrated "sera from subjects who received a booster dose of Covaxin (BBV152) six months after getting a primary two-dose series of Covaxin (BBV152), neutralised the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants", the Hyderabad-based drug maker said in a statement.
The company said that the neutralisation activity seen among people boosted with Covaxin was comparable to what has been observed in mRNA vaccine-boosted people against the Omicron variant.
More than 90 per cent of all individuals boosted with Covaxin showed neutralising antibodies. All participants received an initial two-dose schedule of Covaxin at Day 0 and Day 28. The study findings will soon be posted on preprint server medrxiv, the company said.
"Data from this preliminary analysis show individuals receiving a booster dose of Covaxin have a significant immune response to both the Omicron and Delta variants. These findings suggest that a booster dose has the potential to reduce disease severity and hospitalisations," said Mehul Suthar, Assistant Professor, Emory Vaccine Center and who led the laboratory analysis, in the statement.
Formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children alike, Covaxin is a ready-to-use, liquid vaccine, stored at 2 - 8 degrees Celsius, with 12 months shelf life and multi-dose vial policy, Bharat Biotech said.
In the wake of Omicron, many countries have rolled out third booster doses to tackle the rising infections. India has also started a "precautionary dose" for health workers and the elderly from January 10.