Even as previous reports and attempts at politicisation poured scorn and doubted the efficacy of India’s indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin, America’s top pandemic expert and White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that the jabs can “neutralise 617 variant” of the novel coronavirus or B.1.617 or the ‘double mutant’ strain. After India approved Bharat Biotech’s homegrown COVID-19 vaccine amid the pandemic before the full results of the phase 3 clinical trials were out, BBC cited health watchdog All India Drug Action Network saying it was “shocked” and raised “intense concerns” over the absence of efficacy data. Similarly, a number of Opposition politicians also criticised the vaccine, using shocking offhanded remarks to belittle the work of the scientists who worked so hard to produce the vaccine in record time.
However, all speculations were put to rest on April 27 when Fauci hailed Covaxin’s potency, and even in the weeks before this, Covaxin was winning many plaudits for its effectiveness. The Prime Minister was also administered Covaxin, an incomparable backing amid the political criticism.
What Dr Anthony Fauci said about Covaxin
“This is something where we’re still gaining data on a daily basis. But the most recent data, was looking at convalescent Sera of COVID-19 cases and people who received the vaccine used in India, the Covaxin. It was found to neutralise the 617 variant,” Fauci said.
“So, despite the real difficulty that we’re seeing in India, vaccination could be a very, very important antidote against this,” he added.
All about Covaxin, efforts to malign its efficacy
Developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research, Covaxin was approved for emergency use on January 3. Earlier, trial results had also revealed that the vaccine was 78% efficient against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. The efficacies of all COVID-19 vaccines were subjected to uncertainties with the emergence of new, more infectious variants but Covaxin has proved to neutralise most of them, as per the ICMR, and now Dr Fauci.
News Source: Republic World