Dr Samiran Panda, chief of epidemiology and communicable diseases division of ICMR, said it is a good news and hoped that there will be less anxiety among people in the second wave with this new information about the vaccine. Covaxin has been found to effectively neutralise the double mutant strain also apart from other variants of concern, Dr Panda said.
At ICMR-NIV, scientists said they have isolated and cultured the double mutant strain which has E484Q and L452R mutations. ICMR-National Institute of Virology has isolated and cultured all variants of concern of SARS-CoV-2 virus: B.1.1.7 (UK variant); B.220.127.116.11 (Brazil variant) and B.1.351 (South African variant), the scientists said.
ICMR scientists have said that the NIV has demonstrated the neutralization potential of Covaxin against the UK variant and Brazil variant. The data for the South African variant is being generated. Recently, ICMR-NIV successfully isolated and cultured the double mutant strain B.1.617 (E484Q and L452R) prevalent in certain regions of India.
Bharat Biotech also tweeted that with the accelerated Phase 3 vaccination schedule starting on May 1, it is essential to know the answers to vaccine efficacy and listed details in their blog.