Controversy over a $324 million deal between Brazil and Bharat Biotech – for the import of 20 million Covaxin doses – continues to grow, with reports from the South American country saying its national health regulator never gave the vaccine an EUA.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has just published the trial data for its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, which claims the India-made vaccine to be 77.8% effective against the coronavirus. The vaccine was found to have 93% efficacy against severe cases of COVID-19 and 63% efficacy against asymptomatic transmission. Trial data also indicated that the vaccine was effective against the Delta variant of the virus. “BBV152 conferred 65.2% protection against the SARS CoV 2 Variant of Concern, B.1.617.2 (Delta),” the release from Bharat Biotech said.
Eight European Union states – Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Estonia – and Switzerland have put Covishield vaccine on their list of approved vaccines. India had pressed EU to include Covishield and Covaxin in the list of vaccines that qualify for the groupings Digital Covid Certificate. Estonia has approved both Covishield and Covaxin for ‘green paas’.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) in the United States has found that Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine generates antibodies that effectively neutralize both Alpha and Delta variants of COVID-19. The top health research institute said that an adjuvant developed with funding from the NIH has contributed to the success of the “highly efficacious” COVAXIN COVID-19 vaccine, which roughly 25 million people have received to date in India and elsewhere.
Brazil will suspend a $324 million Indian COVID-19 vaccine contract that has mired President Jair Bolsonaro in accusations of irregularities. The deal to buy 20 million doses of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin shot has become a headache for Bolsonaro after whistleblowers went public with alleged irregularities. One Health Ministry official said he alerted the president about his concerns.
The Central government has informed the Supreme Court that between August 2021 and December 2021, a total of 135 crore vaccines will be available in India.This figure projected by the Central government, if it materialises, will ensure complete vaccination for entire eligible population by the end of 2021.Out of the 135 crore, 50 crore will be Covishield while 40 crore will be Covaxin.The numbers for Russian made Sputnik V vaccine is estimated at 10 crores.Another 30 crore will be Bio E Sub unit vaccine while 5 crore will be Zydus Cadila DNA vaccine, the affidavit filed by the Central government said.
On Wednesday, India’s indigenous COVID vaccine ‘Covaxin’ manufacturer Bharat Biotech has submitted its phase-3 clinical trial results to the World Health Organization (WHO) for clearance. Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s pre-submission meeting has been scheduled on June 23 for evaluation of the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of its indigenous COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.
People inoculated with any of 7 vaccines acknowledged by WTO are permitted from July 1, informed outgoing South Korean Ambassador to India on June 16. People inoculated with any of 7 vaccines acknowledged by WTO are permitted from July 1. Two-week quarantine not exempted for those vaccinated with Covaxin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other higher dignitaries are exempted from the above criteria, said South Korean Ambassador to India.
The health ministry has finalised arrangements with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E to book 30 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, set to be manufactured and stockpiled from August to December this year. As per a health ministry statement on Thursday, an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore will be made to Biological-E from the Centre. This is the second made-in-India vaccine after Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN. Biological-E’s COVID-19 vaccine, an RBD protein sub-unit vaccine, is currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trials.
The government on Tuesday said mixing of Covid-19 vaccines is not the protocol yet. It also clarified that and there is no change in the schedule of two-dose vaccines Covishield and Covaxin. This comes amid reports that India is planning to start trials to test the feasibility of a regimen that uses two different jabs and the effectiveness of a single dose.
Balram Bhargava, ICMR chief, on Tuesday said that by July or early August, there will be enough COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate one crore people a day. He also specified norms for opening the opening of districts from lockdown.
The WHO approval holds importance as there is a discussion about granting vaccine passports only to those given WHO-approved vaccines.