With the initial scepticism on its safety taken care of long back; a large part of the current resistance towards Covid vaccine has been due to doubts on its efficacy against different variants.

But if the latest, and more importantly, some credible information on Covid vaccine is anything to go by, then Covaxin "can neutralise" the dreaded 'B.1.617' variant.

Anthony Fauci
Dr Anthony FauciReuters

Even though there is data to prove its efficacy against the deadly and highly infectious variant, Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House Chief Medical Adviser on Tuesday also said that they are collecting data on the same on a daily basis.

"Now this is something where we're still gaining data on a daily basis. But the most recent data was looking at convalescent sera of Covid-19 cases in people who received the vaccine used in India, the Covaxin. And it was found to neutralise the 617 variant," Dr Fauci was quoted as saying by the PTI.

Fauci adds, "So despite the real difficulty that we are seeing in India, vaccination could be a very, very important antidote against this." He concluded his statement by saying that it was very important to get vaccinated. That's a step ahead while, in the meantime, our ever fluid and increasing knowledge of the coronavirus and the ways to beat it continues.


It must be noted that India's home-grown Covid vaccine Covaxin was approved for emergency use on January 3 while it was still at the stage of clinical trial. Covaxin has been developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with National Institute of Virology and the ICMR.

Another study gives hope

Recently, yet another ongoing study backed both Covishield and Covaxin against the variant. Anurag Agrawal, the director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), tweeted on Tuesday, "Initial positive neutralisation studies of B.1.617, with both post ---Covaxin or Covishield sera, are correlatable with milder diseases during post-vaccination breakthrough infections. This is a positive while we get quantitative data for better understanding of infection protection."

About the deadly B.1.617 variant

Acknowledged as the 'variant of interest' by World Health Organisation, the UN agency also said that B.1.617 variant has already been found in as many as 17 nations. The variant was first identified in India on October 5, 2020 and is a "double mutant" variant largely held responsible for the unprecedented Second wave surge of cases in India.