Following the news that Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin showed 81% interim efficacy;
Prashant Khadayate, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:
“In January 2021, Covaxin was granted emergency use approval in India in the absence of late-stage efficacy data, raising questions on its effectiveness. This was reflected in the lower usage of Covaxin as part of the vaccination drive in India due to people being hesitant to take the vaccine in the absence of publicly available efficacy data. According to the government of India Co-Win dashboard, as of 3 March 2021, Covaxin doses contributed 12% of the overall vaccine doses administered in India, whereas 88% belong to Covishield from Serum Institute of India/ AstraZeneca. India has so far administered over 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“Covaxin demonstrated 81% interim efficacy in those without prior infection after the second dose. The first interim analysis is based on 43 cases, of which 36 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group while seven cases were observed in the Covaxin group. The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine showed 62% efficacy, Pfizer-BioNTech has 95% efficacy, Moderna’s vaccine demonstrated 94% efficacy; Sputnik V has 92% efficacy while the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine has 66% efficacy.
“According to GlobalData’s Pharma Intelligence Center, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd. (Dr. Reddy’s) is conducting Phase II/III trials of Sputnik V and Cadila Healthcare Ltd ZyCov-D is in Phase III in India. ZyCov-D is the second indigenous vaccine to reach Phase III trials.
“The release of interim data on Covaxin was crucial as the competition within the Indian COVID-19 vaccine market will further heat up with the likely approval of Sputnik and ZyCov-D in the next few months. Based on the interim results, Covaxin has a partial edge over Serum Institute of India/ AstraZeneca Covishield. Interim efficacy data will improve the market penetration of Covaxin both in India and other countries amid boost in confidence on its effectiveness.”