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New COVID-19 variant: AstraZeneca says its vaccine is effective, likely to get approved in India next week

British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc said that it's Covid-19 vaccine should be effective against the new coronavirus variant and added that studies were under way to fully probe the impact of the mutation.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 23, 2020 12:01 IST
New COVID-19 variant: AstraZeneca says its vaccine is effective, likely to get approved in India nex
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New COVID-19 variant: AstraZeneca says its vaccine is effective, likely to get approved in India next week 

British drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc said that it's Covid-19 vaccine should be effective against the new coronavirus variant and added that studies were under way to fully probe the impact of the mutation. "AZD1222 (AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate) contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein, and the changes to the genetic code seen in this new viral strain do not appear to change the structure of the spike protein," Reuters quoted AstraZeneca representative as saying in an email.

The representative further said that though vaccination with AZD1222, the immune system of the body is trained to recognise many different parts of the spike protein, so that it can eliminate the virus if it is further exposed. 

The mutation known as the B.1.1.7 lineage may be up to 70% more infectious and more of a concern for children. It has sown chaos in Britain, prompting a wave of travel bans that are disrupting trade with Europe and threatening to further isolate the island country.

Data from AstraZeneca’s late-stage trials in the UK and Brazil released earlier this month showed the vaccine had efficacy of 62% for trial participants given two full doses, but 90% for a smaller sub-group given a half, then a full dose.

India likely to approve AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine by next week

Meanwhile, India is likely to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use by next week after its local manufacturer submitted additional data sought by authorities, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

This could be the first country to give the regulatory green light for the British drugmaker's vaccine as the British medicine regulator continues to examine data from the trials.

India is also considering emergency use authorisation applications for vaccines made by Pfizer Inc and local company Bharat Biotech  by January 2021.

New Covid strain a "Super-Spreader", has 70% transmissibility

At a time when India is witnessing a decline in the active coronavirus cases, a new mutation of COVID-19 virus strain in United Kingdom has become a "super-spreader" with 70 per cent increased transmissibility rate. However, this mutated and more aggressive strain of coronavirus has not been found in India so far, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog said on Tuesday.

"We talked to the UK research community and we came to know that the mutation has enhanced the transmissibility rate of the virus. It is being said that 70 per cent transmissibility rate has increased. We can say that the virus has become super-spreader," Dr Paul said.

 

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