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Covishield, Covaxin Effective Against Delta COVID-19 Variant: ICMR

The ICMR is closely monitoring the neutralisation capabilities of antibodies drawn from the vaccine recipients.

Updated
<div class="paragraphs"><p>COVID-19: The ICMR is closely monitoring the neutralisation capabilities of antibodies drawn from the vaccine recipients.</p></div>
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Amid concerns over the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, which has further mutated to form Delta Plus, the Union Health Ministry on Friday, cleared the air regarding the effectiveness of the vaccines against the two variants.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said the two vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin – work against the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants of SARS-CoV2.

"That is well-established with these two vaccines," Indian Council of Medical Research Chief, Dr Balram Bhargava, said.

The ICMR is closely monitoring the neutralisation capabilities of antibodies drawn from the vaccine recipients.

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Vaccines Against Alpha Covid Variant

Explaining the reduction of the neutralizing capablities of the vaccines with different variants, Dr Bhargava, said Covaxin does not change with the Alpha variant. "Whatever it is with the standard state, it is with the alpha."

However, Covishield reduces slightly, 2.5 times with the Alpha strain.

Vaccines Against Delta Covid Variant

Covaxin is effective against the Delta variant, but the antibody response is slighly reduced. There is a three-fold reduction against this strain, Dr Bhargava said.

There is seven-fold reduction in Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines, he added.

This shows that the antibody response with this variant is reduced.

What About Delta Plus?

The new mutation of the Delta variant, 'Delta Plus' has been found in 12 countries.

In India, there are at least 48 cases of this new strain, in 12 states. However, it is "very localised," Mr Bhargava said.

This strain has also been isolated and cultured by the ICMR.

"We are doing the same test that we have done for Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta to check the vaccine effectiveness," he said.

The laboratory tests are ongoing and the results must be available in about 7-10 days.

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