New Delhi, March 03:

Phase 3 clinical trial results for Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine – Covaxin – were released Wednesday afternoon, with the drug demonstrating “81 per cent interim efficacy in preventing COVID-19 in those without prior infection after the second dose”, the company said.

The company also said “analysis from the National Institute of Virology indicates that vaccine-induced antibodies can neutralise the UK variant strains and other heterologous strains”.

Data from the third stage of trials – which measures the vaccine’s success in protecting against the coronavirus – has been widely anticipated amid concerns over Covaxin’s safety and efficacy. The data was generated from a trial involving 25,800 participants and “showed that the vaccine candidate was well tolerated”, Bharat Biotech said.

Further clinical trials will continue through to final analysis at 130 confirmed cases in order to gather further data and to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine candidate, the company said.

Covaxin is one of two Covid vaccines to have been cleared for emergency use approval by the government – the other is Covishield, which has a 70 per cent efficacy after the second dose.

The decision to green-light Covaxin triggered a row, with critics pointing to a lack of efficacy data at that time.