Those Who Took Covaxin Don't Have to Worry About Omicron, Here's Why

4 Dec, 2021 13:13 IST|Sakshi Post

"It covers the entire virus and can work against this highly mutated new variant," the official added, noting that Covaxin is a virion-inactivated vaccination.

Bharat Biotech, the company that makes Covaxin, hasn't mentioned anything regarding the vaccine's effectiveness against the new strain.

According to an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) officer, Bharat Biotech's COVID vaccine, "Covaxin," may be more effective against the highly-mutating Omicron variant that appeared this week.

According to the reports, the official, who requested anonymity, believes that the vaccination is likely to be more successful against Omicron than other current vaccines. The official said that Covaxin, a virion-inactivated vaccine, "covers the entire virus and can work against this highly mutated new variant."

Another unnamed ICMR official stated in the report, "We can expect that it will be effective against the new variant as well." Covaxin was also proven to be effective against other variants such as Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. However, the official cautioned against resting on one's laurels until more samples had been received and evaluated.

"We expect it to provide protection. Once we receive samples, we will test the vaccine’s efficacy at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune," the official stated.

The vaccine was designed against the initial version identified in Wuhan, according to the paper, and "has shown that it can work against other variants," with more research continuing.

In theory, because Covaxin covers all antigens and epitopes rather than just the spike protein like mRNA (Moderna, Pfizer) and adenovector vaccines (Sputnik, AstraZeneca), "it may give better protection against Omicron," according to Kedar Toraskar of Wockhardt Hospital. More research and testing, however, is required.

Omicron contains around 30 mutations in the spike protein area, giving it the ability to create an immune escape mechanism, according to AIIMS head Dr Randeep Guleria, who also stressed that vaccination effectiveness must be carefully assessed.

Spike protein facilitates a virus's entry into the host cell, allowing it to spread and cause infection.

"Because most vaccines (work by) forming antibodies against the spike protein, many mutations at the spike protein region may lead to a decrease in COVID-19 vaccine efficacy," Guleria told the media.

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