Booster dose of Covaxin may provide long-term immunity: Bharat Biotech – World Affairs SRS

Booster dose of Covaxin may provide long-term immunity: Bharat Biotech

– World Affairs SRS

A booster shot of Bharat Biotech’s whole virus inactivated Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin (BBV 152) can give long-term immunity against Sars-CoV-2 infection, a study has shown.

The Hyderabad-based vaccine maker said on Saturday that the booster dose study has yielded “promising” results. The phase 2, double blind, randomized controlled Covaxin trial demonstrated long-term safety without any serious adverse events, it said. A booster shot was given six months after the second dose of Covaxin.

“The analysis showed, six months after the two-dose BBV152 vaccination series cell-mediated immunity and neutralizing antibodies for both homozygous (D614G) and heterozygous strains (alpha, beta, delta, and delta plus) were above baseline, remained, although the magnitude of the magnitude of the reactions had declined,” the company said.

In addition, neutralizing antibodies against homozygous and heterozygous SARS-CoV-2 variants increased by 19- to 265-fold after the third vaccination. “Booster BBV152 vaccination is safe and may be necessary to ensure consistent immunity to prevent successful infection,” Bharat Biotech said.

Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Biotech, said: “These trial results provide a strong foundation towards our goal of providing Covaxin as a booster dose. Our goals of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 has been received with Covaxin indicated for adults, children, 2 doses of primary and booster doses. This enables Covaxin to be used as a universal vaccine.”

The Hyderabad-based company said that both T cells (memory cells) and B cells (which produce antibodies) sustained and neutralizing responses were detected, suggesting good immune memory responses and long-term protection from serious disease.

In addition, 90% of recipients had a detectable neutralizing antibody response against the wild-type strain six months after the second dose. “Neutralization titers against wild-type and delta variants were 5-fold higher than those following the two-dose schedule. Similar increases were observed in neutralizing antibodies against alpha, beta, delta plus,” the company said.

It added: “The booster dose resulted in a significant increase in CD4+ T- and CD8+ T cell response. This may allow Covaxin to confer long-term protective efficacy against severe SARS-CoV-2.”

T cells are divided into two subtypes – CD4+ and CD8+. Now CD4+ cells are helper T cells, which aid in the activity of other immune cells by releasing cytokines, which in turn lead to predominant B cells. B cells then produce antibodies to neutralize the pathogen. On the other hand, CD8+ T cells directly kill infected cells.

Bharat Biotech claimed that the frequency of adverse events was lower as compared to vaccines from other manufacturing platforms.

While protection against severe disease remains high throughout 6 months, a decline in efficacy against symptomatic disease over time and the continued emergence of various forms is expected. Based on emerging data, Bharat Biotech believes that the third dose may be beneficial for maintaining the highest level of safety.

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