India's Own Covaxin Can Neutralize 617 Variant of COVID-19, Says Anthony Fauci

White House chief medical adviser and America's top pandemic expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said that India's 'Covaxin' can neutralize 617 Variant of the deadly COVID-19. Covaxin has been developed by India's Bharat Biotech in partnership with the National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research.

"This is something where we're still gaining data on a daily basis. But the most recent data was looking at convalescent Sera of COVID-19 cases and people who received the vaccine used in India, the Covaxin. It was found to neutralise the 617 variants," said Dr. Fauci, during a press conference on Tuesday.

How Covaxin Works Against COVID-19 Variants

According to reports, 'Covaxin' uses dead viruses and teaches the immune system to generate antibodies in the body to fight against the deadly SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. When Covaxin is administered, immune cells recognize the dead virus, allowing antibodies to attach to viral proteins or the spike proteins that stud its surface. Clinical trials of Covaxin have shown that it has an efficacy of 78%.

Covaxin has been developed by India's Bharat Biotech Web Screen grab

"So, despite the real difficulty that we're seeing in India, vaccination could be a very, very important antidote against this," said Dr Fauci further adding, "We are making sure that we are locating some of the raw materials necessary to create more vaccines in India, which I think is going to be an important help there."

Covaxin Was Approved For Emergency Use While Still in Clinical Trials

Covaxin was approved for emergency use on January 3 while still in a clinical trial. WHO recently said the B.1.617 variant of the deadly COVID-19 contributing to the rapid increase of coronavirus positive cases in India, has been found in at least 17 other countries. It has been detected in over 1,200 sequences, according to the GISAID open-access database of the UN health agency. The B.1.617 variant of COVID-19 was first found in India.

Meanwhile, the US's top infectious disease expert said that wealthy countries have failed to provide equitable access to coronavirus vaccines or provide an adequate global response to prevent the "tragic" pandemic outbreak from overwhelming India.

According to data shared by the health ministry, India recorded over 360,959 new cases as of Wednesday, April 28. The ministry also highlighted that India recorded over 200,000 fatalities due to the pandemic which currently stands at 201,187.