Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is a broad spectrum “buffet” vaccine that will work against all Covid-19 mutations as compared to the other “a la carte” vaccines that will need tweaks, a top Indian virologist said.
Speaking to ThePrint in a telephonic interview, Dr V. Ravi, former dean, basic sciences, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), said the Covaxin platform will be effective against all the mutations as it “will produce a broad immune response where one or the other antibody produced will eventually catch the virus”.
“The vaccine is a wholly inactivated virus — that is an entire dead virus whereas other vaccines use some part of the virus. The experience shows that the platform of killed or inactivated viruses have higher chances of generating immune response even when the virus mutates,” said Ravi, who is the nodal officer for genetic confirmation of SARS-CoV-2 virus in Karnataka.
According to him, all the “other platforms, which use either subunits (of the virus) or viral vectors but not the whole virus, such as Pfizer, Moderna, Sputnik, AstraZeneca-University of Oxford, won’t work against the mutated virus and may need tweaking”.
In simpler terms, the Covaxin platform is “like a buffet which produces a variety of antibodies in the human body whereas, the subunit vaccines are like a la carte, where the body produces antibody response for only one or two proteins”, he said.
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