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Covishield-Covaxin mix gives better protection: ICMR

  • IASbaba
  • August 9, 2021
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Covishield-Covaxin mix gives better protection: ICMR

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- II – Health 

In news According to a study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the combination of an adenovirus vector platform-based vaccine (Covishield) followed by an inactivated whole virus vaccine (Covaxin) was safe and also elicited better immunogenicity than two doses of the same vaccine.

More about the study and its findings

  • It has not yet been peer reviewed.
  • To conclusively prove these findings, a multicentre Research Trial needs to be carried out because the sample size & follow up period (60-70 days) for this study was small
  • Significance:
    • The findings have an important implication for the COVID-19 vaccination programme wherein heterologous immunisation will pave the way for induction of improved and better protection against the variant strains of Covid-19.
    • Such mixed regimens will also help to overcome the challenges of shortfall of particular vaccines and remove hesitancy around vaccines in people’s mind. 
Vaccine COVISHIELD COVAXIN
About
  • It is the name given to an Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is technically referred to as AZD1222 or ChAdOx 1 nCoV19.
  • India’s only indigenous Covid-19 vaccine
Produced by
  • It is a version of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in collaboration with Swedish-British drugmaker AstraZeneca.
  • Serum Institute of India (SII) is the manufacturing partner in India.
  • Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology, Pune
Constituents and Action
  • It is based on a weakened version of a common cold virus or the adenovirus that is found in chimpanzees.
  • This viral vector contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (protrusions) present on the outer surface of the virus that help it bind with the human cell.
  • The body’s immune system is supposed to recognise this protein as a threat, and work on building antibodies against it.
  • It is an inactivated vaccine which is developed by inactivating (killing) the live microorganisms that cause the disease.
  • This destroys the ability of the pathogen to replicate, but keeps it intact so that the immune system can still recognise it and produce an immune response.
  • It is expected to target more than just the spike protein.
  • It also aims to develop an immune response to the nucleocapsid protein (the shell of the virus that encloses its genetic material).
Significance
  • It had triggered an immune response in humans against the novel coronavirus in early trials 
  • COVAXIN is more likely to work against newer variants of the virus, including the UK variant, as it contains immunogens (epitopes) from other genes in addition to those from Spike protein.

Do you know?

  • Immunogenicity is the ability of a foreign substance, such as an antigen, to provoke an immune response in the body of a human or other animal.
  • ICMR, New Delhi is the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination, and promotion of biomedical research. It is funded by the Government of India through Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The Governing Body of ICMR is presided over by the Union Health Minister

News Source: TH

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