Covaxin 50 per cent effective

A real-world study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal has stated that Covaxin, one of the primary vaccines used in India’s coronavirus immunization drive, provides only 50% protection against symptomatic COVID-19 indicating that the shot is less effective than what was initially thought. The study was conducted by researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi who analyzed data from 2,714 of the hospital’s health workers who were showing signs of infection and underwent RT-PCR testing between April 15 and May 15.

At the beginning of the country’s vaccination campaign in January, AIIMS staff had been offered Covaxin exclusively. The researchers have shared that High infection rates and virus exposure among the hospital’s employees may have contributed to Covaxin’s weaker real-world efficacy, along with the possibility that the then recently emerged delta variant blunted the shot’s protection. Covaxin was developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech along with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the research name of BBV152.

“Our study offers a more complete picture of how BBV152 performs in the field and should be considered in the context of Covid-19 surge conditions in India, combined with the possible immune evasive potential of the delta variant,” said Manish Soneja, additional professor of medicine at AIIMS in New Delhi in a statement.

The authors recognized that the study did not estimate vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation, severe disease, and death, which they said required further assessment. Further, the study was not designed to estimate vaccine effectiveness for different time intervals after vaccination, or to determine if vaccine effectiveness changed over time.

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