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Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN Vaccine (Preliminary)

Preliminary results from the phase 3 clinical trial of Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN vaccine are now available from a press release. The vaccine is a “classic” inactivated virus design. Here’s the Bayesian analysis of the released data:

Analysis of efficacy of the COVAXIN vaccine. For an explanation of the features of this plot, see this post.

So far so good. The numbers are too low at the moment to constrain the efficacy very tightly, but with a 90% credible region lower bound at 63% and a peak probability density at 80%, it looks very promising — comparable to the AstraZeneca LD+SD result (which was from a full clinical trial!). I’ll revisit COVAXIN when the full clinical trial data is released.

I would invite commentary by experts on how easy it will be to re-target this vaccine at variants that might resist the immunity it produces (such as, in all likelihood, the South Africa B.1.351 variant). In particular, can variant-targeting boosters be manufactured quickly at large scales? This is going to be a key question going forwards, as I discussed in this post.

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