Trials show Covaxin safe for booster dose, says Bharat Biotech

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Bharat Biotech on Saturday vouched for the safety of its indigenously-made Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ for a booster dose against the coronavirus disease citing trials. The company added “no serious adverse events” were reported .

Announcing the trial results, the company said, “Six months after a two-dose Covaxin (BBV152) vaccination series, cell-mediated immunity and neutralising antibodies to both homologous (D614G) and heterologous strains (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Delta plus) persisted above baseline, although the magnitude of the responses had declined.”

Furthermore, neutralising antibodies against homologous and heterologous SARS-CoV-2 variants increased from 19 to 265 folds after a third vaccination, it added.

Booster BBV152 vaccination is safe and may be necessary to ensure persistent immunity to prevent breakthrough infections, it added.

Reactogenicity after vaccine and placebo was minimal and comparable, and no serious adverse events were reported, the company said referring to the trial results. “Based on emerging data, Bharat Biotech believes that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection,” it added.

“These trial results provide a strong foundation towards our goal to provide Covaxin as a booster dose. Our goal of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 has been achieved with Covaxin indicated for adults, children, two dose primary and booster doses. This enables use of the vaccine as a universal vaccine,” Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said.

Bharat Biotech noted that Covaxin is formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children alike.

On Friday, Bharat Biotech urged healthcare workers to ensure only Covaxin is being administered to the age group of 15-18 years, following reports of other vaccines, which have not been approved for children, being administered to the newly eligible group.

India began vaccinating teenagers aged 15-18 against Covid-19 from January 3. So far, only Covaxin has been approved for vaccinating the said group.

(With agency inputs)

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