Phase-III trials of the India-made Covaxin vaccine show that it is 93.4% effective against severe symptomatic COVID-19 and works against the Delta variant as well, Hyderabad- based pharma firm Bharat Biotech announced on Saturday.
The data demonstrated 65.2% protection against the Delta variant, first identified in India, that led to a surge in infections during the second wave in April and May. The variant is also on the rise in countries such as the US and Europe.
India's home-grown vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and Indian Institute of Virology, also showed an effectiveness of 77.8% against symptomatic COVID-19 in the trial.
The Phase-III data came as Ocugen Inc , which is co-developing Covaxin with Bharat Biotech for the U.S. market, prepares to file a request for full U.S. approval.
Bharat Biotech also said the safety analysis for Covaxin demonstrates adverse events reported were similar to placebo, with 12% of subjects experiencing commonly known side effects and less than 0.5% of subjects feeling serious adverse events.
Bharat Biotech which has been making 10 million doses of Covaxin a month will now step up production to 23 million doses a month. Besides, the government has asked five public sector companies to start producing the vaccine as well so that it can be made more widely available under the accelerated vaccination drive.
Last month, vaccine maker AstraZeneca Plc also said its vaccine was effective against the Delta and Kappa variants, citing a study.
India has been administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, made domestically by the Serum Institute of India under the Covishield brand. While 70 million doses a month of the vaccine are being currently manufactured, the output will be increased to around nearly 100 million doses in July .