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ICMR assures that Covaxine effective against mutant virus strains
The endorsement came at a time when the approval for under-trial Covaxin for immunisation became a controversy.
Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Dr Balram Bhargava on Thursday said the interim results of the ongoing clinical trials indicated that the Covaxin, developed in the country, will be effective against the mutated Covid-19 virus strains reported from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.
He was speaking at the ‘Kerala Health: Making the SDG a reality’, a webinar, organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare. The endorsement came at a time when the approval for under-trial Covaxin for immunisation became a controversy. ICMR is the apex body for the biomedical research in the country.
According to him, a paper on Covaxin’s neutralisation potential against the UK strain has been accepted for publication. In case of variants from South Africa and Brazil, efforts are on to isolate the mutated virus strains from the samples collected from travellers from these two countries.
The ICMR chief also said the third clinical trial of ‘Covaxin BB152’ had been completed and all 25,800 volunteers involved in the clinical trial were administered both the doses of the vaccine. “The interim analysis report should be out in a week,” he said. Dr Bhargava pointed out that India is the fifth country in the world to isolate the Covid-19 virus as part of its efforts to develop a vaccine for the pandemic.