India's Bharat Biotech says Covid-19 vaccine shows 81% interim efficacy

India had approved the vaccine without late-stage efficacy data, raising questions about its effectiveness.
India had approved the vaccine without late-stage efficacy data, raising questions about its effectiveness.PHOTO: REUTERS

BENGALURU (REUTERS) - Bharat Biotech's home-grown Covid-19 vaccine has shown an interim vaccine efficacy of 81 per cent in late-stage clinical trials, the Indian company said on Wednesday (March 3).

The interim analysis was based on 43 recorded cases of Covid-19 in the trial of 25,800 participants, conducted in partnership with the Indian government's medical research body.

Thirty-six of the 43 cases were recorded in participants who received a placebo, compared with seven cases in people who were given the Bharat Biotech vaccine, pointing to an efficacy rate of 80.6 per cent, the company said.

India had approved the vaccine, branded Covaxin, in January without late-stage efficacy data, raising questions about its effectiveness.

India's vaccination drive, currently under way, includes Covaxin and a vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca.

Earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was inoculated with the first dose of Covaxin.