India’s Covaxin Less Effective Against Delta, Study Shows

New research found that Covaxin, India’s homegrown vaccine, may be less effective than what initial results found as it provides only 50 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 in a real world study.

Researchers at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) analyzed data from 2,714 health workers who were offered Covaxin earlier in the year but were showing infection symptoms during the country’s second major wave of the Delta variant, according to a study in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The study found that Covaxin’s adjusted effectiveness, two weeks after completing two shots, was lower than the 77.8 percent that interim results found during the vaccine’s final stage tests.

High virus exposure of the examined hospital workers may have caused the vaccine’s weaker effectivity in the real-world study, researchers noted, along with the possibility of the new Delta variant being more immune to the vaccine.

“Our study offers a more complete picture of how BBV152 (Covaxin) 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,” Manish Soneja, an additional professor of medicine at AIIMS in New Delhi.

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