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Covid-19 Vaccine Covishield Protects Against Indian Variant: Study

Published On Apr 23, 2021 12:00 AM By Yamini Sharma

As per the preliminary results of a new study, Covid-19 vaccine Covishield provides protection against the B.1.617 coronavirus variant, first detected in India. 

Rakesh Mishra, the Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology has reportedly stated, “Previous results using in vitro neutralisation assay highlight that both convalescent & Covishield vaccinated sera protect against the B.1.617 variant.”

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It must be noted that the B.1.617 variant of coronavirus was first detected in Maharashtra in October, 2020 according to the GISAID global database. Initially, it was thought to comprise two mutations – E484Q and L452R, which led to it being referred to as a “double mutant” variant. Though viruses mutate all the time, scientists have become worried about B.1.617 having three mutations, E484Q, L452R and P6814, which has led it to being referred as “triple mutant” variant. The mutations found in the  B.1.617 variant have been found in other “variants of concern”, a term that is presently being used for the variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

Irrespective of lack of data, there is a major speculation among Indian scientists that the country’s current coronavirus surge is a result of the B.1.617 variant. Reports suggest that India has been reporting over 2 lakh Covid-19 cases on a daily basis since 15 April. Also, the country has reported more than 3 lakh infections a day for the last two days.

The Indian Council of Medical Research has also stated that Covaxin, the indigenously developed coronavirus vaccine by Bharat Biotech effectively neutralises the double mutant strain of SARS-CoV-2 along with other variants. However, as per Bharat Biotech, the data on the effectiveness of Covaxin against Covid-19 variants was only expected in a week.

It must be noted that Covishield, the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, is the Indian version of the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the Serum Institute of India.

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Disclaimer: This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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