Today, Bharat Biotech, the company that makes Covaxin, said that new data shows it is 81 per cent effective in protecting against COVID-19. This is interim analysis of Phase 3 of its trial. What does this data mean?
Here’s your 7-point guide:
Covaxin is already in use in India. It’s been co-developed by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, a company based in Hyderabad, and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Its 81 per cent success or efficacy rate was based on this: the trial had a little over 25,000 people. Among this sample, 43 people contracted Covid – of them, 36 had been given a placebo and seven had been given Covaxin. To calculate efficacy rate, the formula is:
36 (placebo recipients) – 7 (vaccinated recipients) x 100 = 80.55%
36 (placebo or unvaccinated number)
Dr R Guleria, chief of AIIMS, said today’s data as “very encouraging” but more data needs to be collected with at least 130 people testing positive; remember, the current information is based on 43 people who contracted Covid.
The data shared today is based on an interim trial. Bharat Biotech will conduct more tests and expand its trial. Bharat Biotech will release more information about a wider pool of people who tested positive for Covid.
This is the final stage of the trial needed for the vaccine’s efficacy to be determined.
The data will need to be peer reviewed.
Today’s interim result is likely to persuade more people to take Covaxin and could help boost India’s vaccination programme.