Covaxin Effectiveness = 50% Only: The Lancet Study

Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Photo: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

The study was conducted on individuals who were symptomatic and underwent RT-PCR testing for the coronavirus.

By RMN News Service

After a delayed WHO approval for Covaxin because of doubts about the efficacy of the vaccine, a new study has found that the Indian vaccine has an effectiveness of only 50%. In other words, half of the population vaccinated with Covaxin will not be protected against the Covid-19 infection.

The latest study, published on November 23 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, reveals that two doses of Covaxin have only 50% effectiveness against symptomatic Covid-19. The study, which assessed 2,714 hospital workers at AIIMS, New Delhi, is said to be the first real-world assessment of the effectiveness of the vaccine developed in India.

The study was conducted on individuals who were symptomatic and underwent RT-PCR testing for the coronavirus between April 15 and May 15 this year. The study period coincided with the second wave of the pandemic in India, when the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was dominant, accounting for approximately 80% of all confirmed cases of Covid-19.

According to reports, the study was carried out among a high-exposure population of healthcare workers who were primarily given Covaxin, thus presenting a unique opportunity to evaluate the real-world effectiveness of the vaccine.

Covaxin, developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech along with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the research name of BBV152, is a Vero cell-derived, inactivated whole-virion vaccine formulated with a novel adjuvant, and administered in a two-dose regimen 28 days apart.

The vaccine, which was approved for emergency use in adults in India in January, was granted emergency use listing (EUL) by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in November.

While there are enormous doubts about the safety and efficacy of vaccines being used in India, the Supreme Court of India has adjourned a writ petition that seeks public disclosure of Covid-19 vaccine clinical trial data and post vaccination data as required by international medical norms. The petitioner Dr. Jacob Puliyel contends that vaccine mandates are still being issued and people are losing their jobs because they are not willing to get vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, according to the independent Financial Times Covid-19 global vaccination tracker, as of November 22, India had fully vaccinated just 29.4% of its population of 1.4 billion. However, the effectiveness of the vaccines on the vaccinated people cannot be assessed because the Indian government brazenly hides the data related to Covid-19 cases, deaths, and vaccine effectiveness.

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Rakesh Raman