WHO Chief Scientist: Covid vaccination is not absolute protection

Chief scientist of World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, noted that though Covid-19 vaccines may not provide absolute protection against emerging variants of the coronavirus. However, it can reduce risks of death and complications.

Highlights

  • Dr Swaminathan further emphasised that, people need to be on guard in upcoming months.
  • She noted that, in a diverse and heterogeneous country line India, it will not be easy to embark a massive vaccination drive.
  • WHO’s chief scientist called on Union Minister Jitendra Singh on August 12 to discussed different aspects of current COVID-19 pandemic and other such issues.

WHO’s approval to Covaxin

  • Earlier on the same day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya met Dr. Swaminathan and discuss WHO’s approval for COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.
  • Bharat Biotech has submitted all the documents required for Emergency Use Listing (EUL) of COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to the World Health Organization (WHO).

About Covaxin

Covaxin is code named as BBV152. This inactivated virus-based COVID-19 vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). According to Bharat Biotech, the vaccine is 64% effective against asymptomatic cases, 78% against symptomatic cases, 93% against severe cases, and 65% against the Delta variant.

Nature of Covaxin

Covaxin is an inactivated virus that uses traditional technology similar to inactivated polio vaccine. Sample of SARS-CoV-2 was isolated by National Institute of Virology, India which was used to grow large quantities of coronavirus using vero cells. Later the viruses are soaked in beta-propiolactone in order to deactivate them by binding to their genes.  It left other viral particles intact. Lastly, these inactivated viruses are mixed with aluminium-based adjuvant Alhydroxiquim-II.

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