Pfizer, Moderna vaccines got nod before Delta-dominant second wave peak: Bharat Biotech head
The Delta variant is known to be more virulent than the earlier strains of SARS-CoV2
New Delhi: US pharma giants Pfizer and Moderna would not have got approval for their COVID-19 vaccines had they conducted phase-three clinical trials during the second coronavirus wave which was driven by the Delta variant, Krishna Ella, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech said on Wednesday.
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the manufacturer of COVID-19 Covaxin, said the efficacy of its vaccine would have been 85 percent against the original strain of the virus — the one that was first detected in China.
“I am telling you honestly. If Pfizer and Moderna (would) have done a phase-three clinical trial during the second wave, they would not have got the license for the product,” Ella said at an event organised by the Technology Development Board (TDB), a body under the Department of Science and Technology.
“When they (Pfizer and Moderna) licensed it, there was (dominance of the) Wuhan strain. So they succeeded in getting 90 percent efficacy but now the same vaccine is showing a 35 percent efficacy in Israel,” he said.
The Delta variant is known to be more virulent than the earlier strains of SARS-CoV2.
“…and Covaxin is the only one vaccine...there was a delay in the regulatory process and we got stuck in the second wave. And (we were) lucky that in the second wave, we almost got 77 per cent efficacy. But had it been the Wuhan strain and not Delta we would have got 85 per cent efficacy,” Ella added.
Covaxin is one of the three vaccines that is being administered in the country.
The drug regulator in the country has given Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.
Bharat Biotech says iNCOVACC has several advantages including being non-invasive and needle-free. Trained healthcare workers are not required to administer it, and it can eliminate needle-associated risks such as injuries and infections
iNCOVACC is the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and heterologous booster dose
The affidavit was filed in response to a plea by the parents of two girls who died due to adverse effects following Covid-19 vaccination. It said vaccines made by third parties had undergone regulatory review, and holding the state liable to provide compensation may not be legally sustainable