Bharat Biotech’s homegrown Covid-19 vaccineç Covaxin, has shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81% in late-stage clinical trials, the Hyderabad-based company said on Wednesday.
The trials involved 25,800 participants and was conducted in partnership with ICMR, the Indian government’s medical research body. This was the largest ever trial conducted in India.
Participants received a vaccine or placebo in a 1:1 ratio, which showed that the vaccine candidate was well tolerated, said the company.
“Clinical trial to continue through to final analysis at 130 confirmed cases in order to gather further data and to evaluate the efficacy of Covaxin in additional secondary study endpoints,” the company said.
The encouraging news comes at a time when India has seen a sudden spurt in new cases and has also entered the next phase of Covid-19 vaccination, whih commenced from March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions.
More than 1.56 crore (1,56,20,749) vaccine doses have been administered through 3,12,188 sessions, according to provisional report till Wednesday 7 am.
These include 67,42,187 healthcare workers (1st dose), 27,13,144 HCWs (2nd dose), 55,70,230 frontline workers (1st dose) and 834 FLWs (2nd dose), 71,896 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (1st dose) and 5,22,458 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years.
Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Karnataka continue to report a surge in fresh COVID-19 cases and they account for 85.95 per cent of the cases reported in a span of 24 hours, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
The ministry said that 14,989 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours. Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 7,863. It is followed by Kerala with 2,938, while Punjab reported 729 new cases.
“Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka have shown the maximum increase in new cases on a week on week basis,” the ministry said.
Maharashtra alone accounted for a weekly increase of 16,012 cases.
In percentage terms, Punjab reported a weekly increase of 71.5 per cent (1,783 cases).
The Centre is continuously engaging with the states and union territories reporting higher caseload of active cases and those reporting a spike in the daily new COVID-19 cases, the ministry underlined. States and UTs have been advised to maintain a continued rigorous vigil for containing the spread of COVID-19 so that the gains of collective efforts are not squandered away, the ministry said.