How COVID vaccines are faring in the current scenario – Times Now

How COVID vaccines are faring in the current scenario – Times Now

Since we were hit by the pandemic in 2020, COVID has affected each aspect of our lives. From workspace routines to family reunions, everything now has a different touch to it. While people are still trying to find a way back to their pre-pandemic lives, it is of utmost importance that we do everything to keep ourselves safe from this deadly virus. Now, although the COVID regulations in many countries have been eased, the threat posed by newer variants like Omicron & NeoCov still contributes to the anxiety that a lot of people have when they are planning to step out of their homes.
Thanks to the swift development of COVID vaccines, until now the global population have put up a strong fight against the virus. But gradually, health experts around the globe are starting to realise the importance of booster shots for vaccines.
Currently, in India, we have booster shots for – Covaxin, Covishield & Sputnik. The Covaxin booster dose’s capability to neutralize the coronavirus’s highly contagious Omicron and Delta variants showed promising results in its booster dose trials with more than 90% of all individuals boosted with Covaxin. 
For Covishield, positive results were observed from a preliminary analysis of the ongoing safety and immunogenicity trial. It showed that Vaxzevria (COVISHIELD in India), when given as a third dose booster, increased the immune response to Beta, Delta, Alpha and Gamma SARS-CoV-2 variants. A separate analysis of samples from the trial showed an increased antibody response to the Omicron variant
Talking about Sputnik, a unique comparative study conducted at the Italian Spallanzani Institute, the leading Italian research institute for infectious diseases, by a joint Italian-Russian team of researchers representing the Institute and the Gamaleya Centre. The study was conducted in equal laboratory conditions in the Spallanzani Institute in Italy on comparable sera samples from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer with a similar level of IgG antibodies and virus-neutralizing activity (VNA) against the Wuhan variant. The study shows that the Sputnik V vaccine demonstrates more than 2 times higher titers in terms of virus-neutralizing antibodies against Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant than the Pfizer vaccine.
Based on the data collected by the Spallanzani Institute and results of previous studies, heterologous (“mix & match”)1 boosting with Sputnik Light increases other vaccines’ efficacy and extend the booster protection period as optimal adenoviral platform configuration provides better protection against Omicron and other mutations. Sputnik Light is based on recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (the first component of Sputnik V). A one-shot vaccination regimen of Sputnik Light provides for ease of administration and helps to increase the efficacy and duration of other vaccines when used as a booster shot.
No doubt that vaccine acceptance among countries is a major issue. A large part of the population is still hesitant about getting vaccinated. Regardless, people should always focus on staying safe by following proper COVID guidelines. Choosing any one vaccine should not be a concern but getting vaccinated should be a priority. While booster shots have not been made mandatory in India, it is advisable to get your booster doses if you are eligible to avoid any severe health complications in future due to infection.

Dr A.M. Deshmukh is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.
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