Covaxin booster shown to neutralize both Omicron and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2

Our Bureau, BengaluruThursday, January 13, 2022, 12:35 Hrs  [IST]

Bharat Biotech announces result from a study conducted at Emory University demonstrates that sera from subjects who received a booster dose of Covaxin (BBV152) six months after getting a primary two-dose series of Covaxin, neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and Delta variants.

Earlier studies also demonstrated the neutralizing potential of Covaxin against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern Alpha, Beta, Delta, Zeta and Kappa.

The study will be published on the pre-print server, medRXiv, shortly. Sera samples from individuals who received a booster of Covaxin were observed to be effective in neutralizing Omicron and Delta variants on a live virus neutralization assay. The neutralization activity of Covaxin-boosted sera was comparable to what has been observed in mRNA vaccine-boosted sera against the Omicron variant.

More than 90% of all individuals boosted with Covaxin showed neutralizing antibodies. All participants received an initial two dose schedule of Covaxin at Day 0 and Day 28.

“As the dominant Covid-19 variant throughout the world, Omicron poses a serious public health concern. Data from this preliminary analysis show individuals receiving a booster dose of Covaxin have a significant immune response to both the Omicron and Delta variants. These findings suggest that a booster dose has the potential to reduce disease severity and hospitalizations,” said Dr Mehul Suthar, Assistant Professor, Emory Vaccine Center and who led the laboratory analysis.

“We are in a continuous state of innovation and product development for Covaxin. The positive neutralization responses against the Omicron and Delta variants, validates our hypothesis of a multi-epitope vaccine generating both humoral and cell mediated immune responses. Our goals of developing a global vaccine against Covid-19 have been achieved with the use of Covaxin as a universal vaccine for adults and children,”said Dr Krishna Ella, CMD, Bharat Biotech.

“The global impact of Omicron shows us that the fight against Covid-19 continues, and we’re encouraged that these data demonstrate the value of Covaxin as a primary and booster vaccine. These results show how a broad-spectrum vaccine has the potential ability to address ever-shifting public health challenges such as new variants and mutations,” said Dr. Shankar Musunuri, chairman, CEO and co-founder, Ocugen, Inc.

Covaxin is formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children alike. It is a ready-to-use, liquid vaccine, stored at 2 - 8°C, with 12 months shelf life and multi-dose vial policy. The same doses of vaccine can also be used for two-dose primary immunization in adults and children and for booster dose vaccinations, making it truly a universal vaccine, stated the company.