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Bharat Biotech Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Will Have 60% Efficacy

Covaxin is being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Nov 22, 2020 / 01:19 PM IST
Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Bharat Biotech said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin will have  60 percent efficacy, CNN-News18 reported.

"We aim to achieve at least 60 percent, but it could also be more. Chances of the vaccine being less than 50 percent effective are remote, as suggested by our trial results so far," the company said, as quoted by the news channel.

Covaxin is being developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Phase 3 of the clinical trials of the potential COVID-19 vaccine, which includes 26,000 volunteers, have begun across the country.

Also read: Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca | What is the latest on COVID-19 vaccine from the manufacturers?

President of Quality Operations at Bharat Biotech Sai D Prasad told CNN-News18 that the World Health Organisation (WHO), United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), and India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved a respiratory disease vaccine if it was at least 50 percent effective.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have said their vaccines have an efficacy of 95 percent and 94.5 percent, respectively.

Bharat Biotech has so far not released data from its Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The company aims to roll out Covaxin by mid-2021, after receiving approvals.

"If we get all the approvals after establishing strong experimental evidence and data, and efficacy and safety data in our last stage of trials, we aim to launch the vaccine in Quarter 2 of 2021," the company told CNN-News18.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Nov 22, 2020 01:19 pm

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