Bengaluru: The Bharat Biotech vaccine showed 81% efficacy in preventing symptoms of COVID-19 in an interim analysis of a late-stage trial in India, it said Wednesday, which is a major boost to the injection that some health workers have avoided due to its shortage. Such data.
The positive result also brightens sales prospects abroad, with the vaccine, the first successful home-made vaccine for Covid-19 in India, already attracting interest from more than 40 countries, according to the Hyderabad-based company.
“Covaxin is showing a high clinical efficacy trend against Covid-19, but it is also showing a significant immune capacity against rapidly emerging variants,” Krishna Ella, Chairman of Bharat Biotechnology, said in a statement, referring to its vaccine.
She said that the analysis is based on 43 cases of Covid-19 patients who had symptoms ranging from mild to moderate to severe, and of the total cases, 36 cases were from the placebo group, while seven cases were from those who received the vaccine.
The results come as India struggles to convince health workers and frontline workers to take the Bharat dose, which was approved in January without late-stage efficacy data.
Reuters reported that only about 11% of the more than 10 million Indians vaccinated had taken the Bharat Biotech dose as of last week.
Several politicians in India, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, were vaccinated with Covaxin this week in place of a competing vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford, as they seek to boost confidence in the locally developed vaccine.
With more than 11 million infections so far, India is battling the world’s largest Covid-19 outbreak outside of the United States.
Bharat, who signed an agreement with Brazil to provide 20 million doses of the vaccine, said that the next interim analysis will target 87 cases and the final analysis will be based on 130 cases.
Its first tentative analysis was based on a phase III clinical trial involving 25,800 participants which was conducted with the Indian government’s Medical Research Authority.
The trial included 2,433 participants over the age of 60, and 4,500 participants with comorbidities.