The US National Institute of Health (NIH) on Wednesday said that India-made Covaxin is effective against the Delta variant of Covid-19. NIH said in a statement that the Covaxin vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralise the Delta and Alpha variants of Covid-19. The result came after conducting the two studies of blood serum from people who received Covaxin. The big statement comes at a time when cases of Delta and Delta Plus variants are spreading all over the country. The Hyderabad based Covaxin is a fully Indian-made vaccine, which is developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The highly contagious Delta and Delta Plus, which are becoming the dominant variants across the globe, have been rapidly spreading in the UK, the US and India. Health experts are closely watching the new variant, warning that the Delta Plus mutation is more dangerous and transmissible compared to other COVID-19 variants. This comes at a time when countries around the world are gradually reopening their borders and economies after months of lockdowns due to the second wave of the pandemic.
Amid fear of spread of the Delta variants, many vaccine companies have claimed that their COVID-19 doses are effective and working against the new Coronavirus mutation, but it is important to know what the health experts and researchers believe about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Moderna, which is the first international vaccine in India, said on Tuesday that the company has produced protective antibodies that work against all the COVID-19 variants, including the Delta mutant. Moderna said that the result comes out after conducting trials from eight different blood samples.
Moderna said that data showed a modest reduction in neutralising titers against the Delta (2.1-fold), Gamma (P.1, 3.2-fold), Kappa (3.3-3.4-fold), and Eta (4.2-fold) variants relative to those against the ancestral strain.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer:
Last week Oxford University researchers claimed that COVID-19 vaccines made by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and American Pfizer are highly effective against the Delta and Kappa variants of Coronavirus. The study finds that highly transmissible Delta can be neutralised by the two doses of AstraZeneca.
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Earlier, A Public Health England study published a report and said that with reducing 33 per cent risk of Delta, the first dose of AstraZeneca is less effective compared to the second dose. The second dose of AstraZeneca can boost protection against Delta by 60 per cent. The study further added that it is also highly effective against the Alpha variant of COVID-19.
The data of a similar study published on May 22, also claimed that two doses of Pfizer’s shot were 88 per cent effective against the Delta variant. While the same dose of Pfizer reduces the Alpha variant by 93 per cent.
Johnson & Johnson
Dr. Amesh Adalja, Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has said that Johnson & Johnson is also capable of fighting against the Delta variant of COVID-19. However, there is no data available by the company itself that shows that Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the new variant.
China has also said their doses are working against the new variant of Coronavirus but there is no evidence that Chinese doses are working against the Delta variants. Contradicting Chinese-owned pharma companies’ claims on the effectiveness of their vaccine against Delta variants, the former deputy director at the Chinese Center for Disease Control Feng Zijian has said that two Chinese doses are less effective compared to others.
Many Asian countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore have signed deals with Chinese vaccines. China has developed a total of seven vaccines, out of which two—Sinovac and Sinopharm—have been approved by the WHO.
Who Is At The Risk?
Health experts have warned that the threats of Delta and Delta Plus variants, which spread quickly and spark fears of the third wave, are real and should not be ignored. According to reports, younger children and unvaccinated people are likely to be hit by Delta and its new variant Delta Plus.