Booster Shot Generates Antibodies Against Omicron And Delta Variants, Says Indian Vaccine Maker – Forbes

January 27, 2022
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Two dose Covid-19 vaccine ‘covaxin’ developed by Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech (Photo by NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech announced on Wednesday that a booster shot of its vaccine called ‘Covaxin’ generated antibodies against both omicron and delta variants of viruses which cause Covid-19. 
The data comes from a study conducted by Emory University in Georgia which was sponsored by Bharat Biotech’s U.S partner Ocugen. In that study, researchers examined serum samples of people who received a booster shot six months after receiving the two doses. 
All the collected samples showed neutralization of the delta variant and more than 90% of serum samples showed neutralization of the omicron variant, said Bharat Biotech’s press release. “These findings suggest that a booster dose has the potential to reduce disease severity and hospitalizations,” Mehul Suthar, assistant professor, Emory Vaccine Center and who led the study, said in the press release. 
The neutralization activity of serum samples from patients who were boosted with Covaxin was comparable to what has been observed in mRNA vaccine-boosted samples against the Omicron variant, the company noted. 
Covaxin is a two-dose vaccine that was developed by Bharat biotech, along with Indian government research bodies- the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. In India, the shot was among the first shots approved by the Indian government for adults. However, the fact that it was approved while it was still under phase three of its clinical trial had outraged several health experts in India. Subsequently, the vaccine received an emergency use approval by the WHO in November 2021. Around 180 million doses of the vaccine have been administered to date in India.  
On December 25, 2021, Covaxin received emergency use authorization in India for children between 12  and 18 years of age, making it the second vaccine approved in India for this age bracket.  
“The positive neutralization responses against the Omicron and Delta variants, validates our hypothesis of a multi-epitope vaccine generating both humoral and cell mediated immune responses. Our goals of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 have been achieved with the use of Covaxin as a universal vaccine for adults and children,” Krishna Ella, chairman of the company, said in a statement. 

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