Interim results of the ongoing clinical trial indicate that the indigenous Covid-19 vaccines would be effective against the mutated virus strains reported from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Thursday.
"The interim analysis report should be out in a week," said ICMR director-general Dr Balram Bhargava while addressing an international webinar "Kerala Health: Making the SDG A Reality," organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Kerala.
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Bhargava said that the third clinical trial of Covaxin BB152 had been completed as all the 25,800 volunteers involved in the exercise had been administered both doses.
He also stated that a paper on Covaxin's neutralisation potential against the UK strain has been accepted for publication. In the case of the variants from South Africa and Brazil, efforts were on to isolate the mutated virus strains from the samples collected from travellers from these two countries, he said.
Bhargava pointed out that India was the fifth country in the world to isolate the Covid-19 virus as part of the efforts to develop a vaccine for the pandemic.
"India had from the outset resisted the temptation of going for herd immunity unlike many European countries, including the UK and Italy, and its decision had been vindicated from what happened in the western nations that allowed the pandemic to spread," he said.
New variants in India
The ICMR had on Tuesday announced that the South African variant of coronavirus circulating in more than 44 countries has entered India with four people having been detected with the strain.
India has also reported one case of the Brazilian strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
"The strain has multiple mutations, including in the receptor-binding domain of the spike protein allowing the virus to easily enter the lung cells of the human body. The majority of the cases in South Africa are due to the variant strain and it has spread to 44 countries," Bhargava had said.
New guidelines in view of variants
Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced updated guidelines for the international passengers coming to India in view of the rising cases of the mutant strain.
All international fliers except the ones coming on flights originating from the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East will have to submit a self-declaration form on the Air Suvidha portal before their scheduled travel.
You can get the revised guidelines here.
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