Both Covishield and Covaxin appear to be only half effective in producing antibodies against the B.1.617 strain of coronavirus, scientists said.
According to a series of reports authored by scientists at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), this drop didn't diminish the fact that the vaccines continued to be a potent tool against COVID-19, reported The Hindu.
The scientists at ICMR- National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, have been collecting samples from COVID-19-positive individuals since January and testing them for prominent variants, which included mostly the international variants of concern- B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), the B.1.351 (the South African variant), the P2 (the Brazil variant) and B.1.617 (the Indian variant).
Three related variants of the B.1.617 now make up an increasing proportion of cases in India.
Both the vaccines, even though made differently, they were designed on the blueprint of the virus variant, called B1, that became the dominant strain in India by last April.
As many reports are emerging from vaccine trials, across the globe, of certain mutations in the virus helping it to escape the immune systems and antibodies, a number of labs have been working to check the potency of vaccines against the emerging variants.
When NIV scientists tested the virus, bearing the B.1.617 signature mutations, on antibodies that were extracted from the blood serum of those with two doses of Covaxin, they found roughly 55% fewer antibodies generated against B.1.617.
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