Covaxin, Covishield Ineffective Against Indian Strain of Virus?

15 May, 2021 13:26 IST|Sakshi Post

The vaccination drive is currently going on in India. As the country is facing a shortage, immunization of those between 18 to 45 years hasn’t started yet. Covishield and Covaxin are the major vaccines in India that received Emergency approval, earlier this year.

Although the vaccines are working well, it is not fully effective against the new COVID strain. Cases of B.1.617 strain or the Indian strain are spreading rapidly now and medical experts are trying to determine if the vaccine will fully protect you from the strain. But research shows that both the vaccines work just half well against the strain.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology (NIV) are working towards determining the vaccines’ potential against mutant variants including the B.1.1.7 (UK variant), the B.1.351 (South Africa variant), the P2 (Brazil variant) and B.1.617 (Indian variant).

The antibodies developed are less than 50% for these vaccines. But this is not just determined based on the antibodies, it is also on the defensive bodies called T cells.

It was reported that the B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2 found in India is said to be more virulent. Some reports say that this variant is spreading faster, more infectious and can infect entire families. Now, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the B.1.617 variant of the coronavirus as a 'variant of concern' at the global level. 

Also Read: Indians Can't Unmask Like Americans Even After Vaccination

The virus is always mutating, with the new strain spreading across the country, it is not possible to say if a person is fully protected from it. The vaccine can protect you from these virus variants but you are not fully immune. There is only so much that a vaccine can do.

You have to be cautious as the virus is mutating. Further research needs to be done before anything is confirmed. Medical experts cannot say just yet that the vaccine will protect you from the mutated strain. So keeping that in mind, it is best to continue wearing masks and following the social distancing rule.

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