Covaxin can help in controlling the virus load of SARS-CoV-2 & its variants, reducing disease severity
In a multi-institutional collaboration with THSTI, Faridabad, AIIMS, New Delhi, ESIC Medical College, Faridabad, LNJP Hospital, New Delhi, LJI, LA Jolla, Dr. Nimesh Gupta and group at the National Institute of Immunology (NII), New Delhi, investigated 97 SARS-CoV-2 unexposed individuals who had received vaccine, up to 6 months after 2-dose vaccination. The vaccine-induced responses were compared with the immune memory in 99 individuals recovered from mild COVID-19.
Scientists have found that Covaxin, which is an inactivated whole-virion vaccine, induces robust immune memory to SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern that persist for at least 6 months after vaccination and induces memory T cells that can respond robustly against the variants. This may help in controlling the virus load and thus, reduce the disease severity.
BBV152/Covaxin vaccine is based on an Asp614Gly variant and formulated with a toll-like receptor (TLR) 7/8 agonist molecule (imidazoquinolin) adsorbed to alum. It was the first alum-imidazoquinolin adjuvanted vaccine produced in India and received emergency use authorization from WHO for use in a large population. Although the clinical trial data were available for the vaccine efficacy, important questions remained unanswered for the evidence-based policymaking particularly. These included whether the vaccine induces immune memory, how long the vaccine-induced memory persists, and whether these memory responses are able to sustain against the SARS-CoV-2 variants.
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