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COVAXIN induced people “May Require” “Booster” if antibodies are insufficient. Yes, in between the vaccine hesitancy to vaccine choice, vaccine hunting to vaccine tourism, there is 👉 one study of Chennai based Dr. Padmanabha Shenoy, Medical Director, Centre for Arthritis and Rheumatism (CARE) that indicating towards the better than both “Good” Vaccines. Before making any conclusion from this story and study, let us clear here that this study is at initiating stage and a large number of data is required to claim which vaccine would be better in the future. Still, we have an indicating study that could help us understand which vaccine reacts how on immunosuppressed people in comparison to healthy people.

For the study, 136 (102 patients had AIRD (autoimmune rheumatic diseases) while the 34 had non-AIRD) consecutive patients with rheumatic diseases who never had a diagnosis of COVID-19 previously, and had completed vaccination with either the ChAdOx1(COVISHIELD) or BBV152 (COVAXIN) vaccines were recruited. Their IgG antibody titres (Level) to the Spike protein were estimated 1 month after the second dose.

Comparing the two vaccines, 114(95%) of those who received ChAdOx1 (n=120) and 11(68.7%) of those who received BBV152(n=16) had detectable antibodies [p=0.004] . Antibody titres also were higher in ChAdOx1 recipients when compared to BBV152. To validate the findings, the authors estimated antibody titres in 30 healthy people each who had received either vaccine. All 30 who had received ChAdOX1 and only 23/30 of those who had received BBV152 had positive antibodies (p=0.011).

Initial findings ongoing study on the immunogenicity of Covishield & Covaxin in 136 rheumatology patients and 60 healthy persons. The authors assessed by Anti Spike antibody after 1 month of Second dose

  • Key findings
  • Patients with Autoimmune disease have lower immunogenicity than those without immune diseases.
  • Covishield appears to more immunogenic than Covaxin in patients with autoimmune disease and also in healthy controls

What are the implications/solutions?

  1. This is only an initial study. Need larger studies with more number of patients which government should initiate.
  2. The immune system has T cells and B cells. Antibodies look at B cell response while The authors need to study T cell response to see how each of these vaccines fare.
  3. Phase 3 data of Covaxin needs to be published at the earliest.
  4. With the Aadhar linked to both vaccines and testing, the government can easily study the real-time efficacy of these vaccines in a weeks’ time. This has to be done urgently
  5. 20 % of people who have taken Covaxin are not developing antibody is a finding which we need to study in a larger number of patients.
  6. If one has taken Covaxin no need to PANIC. Covaxin forms antibody in 80 % of people; maybe T cell response in higher proportion. Available data suggest that covaxin protects against serious infection and hospitalization to a great extent. It would be advisable to check antibody levels with a reliable kit after a month of the second dose of the vaccine. If antibodies are not detectable maybe a booster is needed (the role of the booster still needs further studies).

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By Taruni Gandhi

Taruni Gandhi is an ace writer and journalist with over a decade experience in covering health, social issues. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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