Bharat Biotech said trials have indicated that its vaccine Covaxin is safe for booster dosage against COVID-19. The analysis showed, six months after a two-dose Covaxin (BBV152) vaccination series cell-mediated immunity and neutralising antibodies to both homologous (D614G) and heterologous strains (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Delta plus) persisted above baseline, although the magnitude of the responses had declined, the company said.
Furthermore, neutralising antibodies against homologous and heterologous SARS-CoV-2 variants increased from 19 to 265 folds after a third vaccination, it added. Booster BBV152 vaccination is safe and may be necessary to ensure persistent immunity to prevent breakthrough infections, it added.
"These trial results provide a strong foundation towards our goal to provide Covaxin as a booster dose. Our goal of developing a global vaccine against COVID-19 has been achieved with Covaxin indicated for adults, children, two dose primary and booster doses. This enables the use of the vaccine as a universal vaccine," Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said. Further, reactogenicity after vaccine and placebo was minimal and comparable, and no serious adverse events were reported, the company said referring to the trial results.
"Based on emerging data, Bharat Biotech believes that a third dose may be beneficial to maintain the highest levels of protection," it added. Bharat Biotech noted that Covaxin is formulated uniquely such that the same dosage can be administered to adults and children alike.