Covid-19 Delta Plus: ICMR, NIV to Study If Vaccines in India Can Neutralise Variant

Covid-19 Delta Plus: ICMR, NIV to Study If Vaccines in India Can Neutralise Variant A medical staff prepares a dose of vaccination at a vaccination site in Bangkok, Thailand, June 7, 2021. (Xinhua/Rachen Sageamsak)

New Delhi: Amid the detection of the highly transmissible ‘Delta Plus’ variant of SARS-CoV-2 in coronavirus patients in some parts of the country, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have opted to conduct a study to see if the new and more potent variant of COVID-19 can be neutralised by the existing vaccines in India.

As per the government, Delta Plus cases have been detected in Maharashtra (Ratnagiri and Jalgaon) Kerala (Palakkad and Pathanamthitta) and in Madhya Pradesh (Bhopal and Shivpuri).

The above-mentioned study is likely to involve Covishield and Covaxin vaccines.

ALSO READ: Coronavirus India Update: Delta Plus Mutant ‘Variant of Concern’, Centre Warns Three States

“The newly emerged Delta Plus variant has possible increased transmissibility, higher binding capacity to the lung cells and resistance to monoclonal antibody treatment. Looking at this scenario, Delta Plus variant could be a concern, and a high watch should be undertaken and containment of affected zone should be done reduce the transmission,” said Dr Pragya Yadav, head of the NIV’s Maximum Containment Facility.

Asked whether existing vaccines can fight against the Delta Plus variant, she said that samples have been collected and a study is being carried out.

ALSO READ: Bharat Biotech to Attend Pre-Submission Meeting With WHO Today in Big Push for Covaxin Approval

“As per earlier data concerning Delta variant, neutralization was happening with the existing vaccines in India. Though neutralization has dropped, it’s enough to protect against Delta variant. Delta Plus should also behave (in a similar manner). We are working in this direction. We have isolated this variant and we are going to conduct a study soon. We will come back with the study,” she said.

All Delta sub-lineages are treated as variants of concern (VOC) and properties of AY.1 are still being investigated. Delta Plus is also known as ‘AY.1’ variant or B.1.617.2.1.

The variant frequency of AY.1 is low in India. Cases with AY.1 have been mostly reported from nine countries of Europe, Asia and America.

(With ANI Inputs)

For the latest News, Breaking News, Top News, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and YouTube