The World Health Organization has recently expressed concern that the delta variant of COVID-19, a variant first detected in India which is the Delta and Delta Plus variant is reducing the efficacy of existing COVID-19 vaccines in the world. In India, a new mutant of the variant has already been found in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon and Ratnagiri, after which the Health Ministry has asked Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh to take precautions.
Covid-19 variants have emerged as a cause of concern across the world as experts deliberate on the effectiveness of the vaccines to prevent the infection by the variants.
Covaxin and Covishield
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield are effective against the delta variant, the health ministry said recently. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “Both vaccines administered in India, Covishield and Covaxin, (Sputnik joined later) are effective against Delta and Delta plus variant. But to what extent and what is the proportion of antibody titers produced by these vaccines will be shared soon.
The Russian-made vaccine, which became a part of India’s vaccination campaign, is effective against all variants of Covid known today, said Alexander Ginsberg, head of the Gamalaya Center. The antibodies developed after vaccination with Sputnik V protect against all variants of COVID known today, from the UK version to the so-called Delta version, first detected in India,” he said.
Sputnik has claimed better protection against new variants and that is why its marketer Russian Direct Investment Fund has proposed a booster shot to other vaccine makers, which will be the third shot after the regular two doses of vaccines.
Pfizer which is finalizing agreements to supply its vaccines in India is also known to be somewhat effective against Delta variants. But the protection is from hospitalization; The jury is still out on whether it can protect against infection. A recent analysis by Public Health England has recently revealed that Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer high protection of over 90 percent against hospitalization from the Delta variant.
Not much is known about the effectiveness of vaccines against Delta Plus because it is only an emerging variant. It has been found that Delta Plus is resistant to the monoclonal antibody cocktail treatment for COVID-19, which was recently authorized in India. But it doesn’t reveal anything about its response to COVID-19 vaccines yet.
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