According to institution director Adar Poonawalla, who spoke exclusively to NDTV today, the Serum Institute of India is collaborating with Novavax on an Omicron-specific vaccination. He predicted that the vaccine will be available in six months and would be specific to the Omicron BA5 sub-variant.
The UK authorised the Moderna vaccine’s modified version earlier today. The original Covid strain as well as the BA.1 sub-variant of the Omicron are both targets of the bivalent vaccination.
As a booster, I believe this vaccination is crucial, Mr. Poonawalla said NDTV.
He continued by stating that an Omicron-specific vaccination is crucial for India because Omicron is “not mild” as is typically believed.
“The new variation may not result in many hospitalizations, but if you contract it, the consequences are severe. It is comparable to having the flu badly. I believe it’s crucial to have this vaccine as a booster whenever you can “explained he.
However, approval from the Indian drug regulator is a need for the vaccine’s introduction onto the Indian market. Whether an independent clinical trial is necessary in India is not yet evident.
“In Australia, Novavax trials are currently being conducted. By November or December, you should be able to contact the US pharma agency “said Mr. Poonawalla.
“We haven’t decided yet if we need to hold a separate trial in India. Our group is speaking with government representatives… and we anticipate having a vaccine before the end of the year, if not by the first quarter of the following year “said he.
Numerous sub-variants of Omicron have been linked to an increase in Covid cases in some regions of the country, notably Delhi. The Omicron strains circulating in Delhi are more contagious than the base strain that first emerged in January of this year, according to NK Arora, head of the Covid Task Force, who spoke to NDTV last week.
According to him, the sub-lineages of Omicron B5 and B2 are among the current strains circulating in Delhi that are 20 to 30% more contagious than the original Omicron variation.
Meanwhile, he had added, the efficiency of vaccines in preventing illnesses has decreased by 20 to 30%.
The present vaccinations are primarily directed at the earlier forms of the disease, even if immunizations have helped reduce hospitalizations and deaths.