Wed, 14 Apr 2021

BENGALORE, India: The Covid vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech has been found to be 81 percent effective, in an analysis of a late-stage trial in India, the company has announced.

Prior to release of this data, the Bharat Biotech vaccine had been criticized because of a lack of available clinical information.

The test results are expected to help with sales overseas. It is the first Covid vaccine manufactured in India. Bharat Biotech has said there has been interest in the vaccine from 40 countries.

In a letter, Bharat Biotech Chairman Krishna Ella said, "COVAXIN demonstrates a high clinical efficacy trend against COVID-19, but also significant immunogenicity against the rapidly emerging variants,"

India has sought to convince health and front-line workers to take the Bharat Biotech shot. While it was approved in January, the lack of data resulted in only some 11 percent of the 10 million vaccinated Indians using the Bharat Biotech vaccine.

In a bid to boost confidence in the Bharat Biotech vaccine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was inoculated with COVAXIN this week, rather than the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Registering more than 11 million infections, India has the world's second largest number of Covid vaccinations, following the United States.

COVAXIN can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures, as opposed to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Company officials have said COVAXIN is believed to provide protection against the UK strain of the coronavirus.

Bharat Biotech's headquarters are located in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, along with other drug and vaccine makers. Since beginning operations in 1996, it has delivered over 3 billion doses of various vaccines.

Bharat Biotech is aiming to produce some 700 million doses of COVAXIN this year.

Brazil has recently signed an agreement to purchase 20 million doses of the Covid vaccine from Bharat Biotech.

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