Covaxin, the Coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research, has been applauded by The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and best-known medical journals- although it has a fair share of controversy on some issues- with the highest impact factor. A study published in The Lancet said that the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech has led to enhanced immune response.
The original report published by The Lancet on the immune response of Bharat Biotech can be studied here.
As per the report, a study was conducted on 375 people who enrolled for the purpose between July 13 and July 30. “The sample size was intentionally large to enable the inference of meaningful conclusions regarding neutralising responses. With several reports questioning the efficacy of SARS-COV-2 vaccines against antigenically divergent strains, we report neutralising responses to homologous and heterologous strains,” reads the report.
After the report was published, Indian Council of Medical Research, the government agency leading India’s Covid response and with whose assistance Bharat Biotech manufactured the Covaxin vaccine, tweeted the findings of the study.
.@TheLancetInfDis publishes findings from trial of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, BBV152 developed by @BharatBiotech & ICMR. @TheLancet @MoHFW_INDIA @DeptHealthRes Read more: https://t.co/KKZJOf6Ew1 pic.twitter.com/ZCfu2pfOwb
— ICMR (@ICMRDELHI) January 22, 2021
Bharat Biotech, a Hyderabad based company, was founded in 1996 by Dr Krishna Ella. It is one of the most innovative and among the most successful companies in the world in the field of vaccination. In its existence spanning more than two decades, Bharat Biotech has come up with vaccines against the most pressing viral diseases like Chikungunya and the Zika virus. The company also produces vaccines for the Japanese Encephalitis.
Back in February 2016, when the countries around the world were struggling with the Zika virus, Bharat Biotech got the first breakthrough against it. And, being true to India’s nature of serving humanity, the company was ready to share the technology with the foreign companies to save lives. “We don’t mind giving the technology to Brazil or some other countries and partnering with them. In fact, we are asking the PMO to use vaccine diplomacy,” said Dr Krishna Ella, back in 2016, when the term ‘vaccine diplomacy’ had not even come in popular vocabulary.
Apart from the Zika virus, the company has also developed Rotavirus and Hepatitis B vaccines and sells them at competitive prices. When the people with maligned intent were casting doubt over the efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella had very proudly said that the Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer was not just an Indian company, but a global one. “Don’t accuse us of inexperience. We are a global company… have manufactured 16 vaccines. It is not correct to say we are not transparent with data. We conduct clinical trials in many countries, including the UK. The point is we are not an Indian company… but a global one,” he stressed.
The countries like Brazil are rushing for the vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech despite the jibes by domestic doubters like Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh because the company has been supplying vaccines of various viruses to these countries for years. In 2016, when the Zika virus was ravaging South America, Bharat Biotech was first to get a breakthrough in vaccines and saved millions of lives in Brazil. Therefore, Brazil has already placed orders for doses and the Brazilian President even posted the viral tweet in which Lord Hanuman is taking vaccines to Brazil, just like Sanjeevani booti.
The company is so confident about the efficacy and safety of its vaccine that it has even agreed to pay compensation for any negative effects of the vaccine. “In case of any adverse events or serious adverse events, you will be provided a medically recognised standard of care in the government designated and authorised centres/hospitals,” states the consent form to be signed by the vaccine recipients. Bharat Biotech has received a government purchase order for the supply of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin.
The consent form also says, “The compensation for the serious adverse event will be paid by the sponsor (BBIL) in case if the SAE is proven to be causally related to the vaccine.”
Bharat Biotech has set an example for many to follow and its decision to pay compensation in case of any side effects in a country of over a billion people, highlights how the company is supremely confident about the quality and efficacy of Covaxin, and the study published in The Lancet will only increase the trust in India’s vaccine leader globally.