Hyderabad: Amid rising cases of H3N2 influenza virus in the country and reports of some deaths too, Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Bharat Biotech, which developed the indigenous Covaxin and intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC, is now working on a vaccine for it, its founder chairman Dr Krishna Ella confirmed on Friday.
Talking on the sidelines of a day-long CII summit on ‘South India@100: Going beyond boundaries’, Ella said: “I am a scientist. Definitely we are working on it (H3N2 virus vaccine). We have started the work and we are expecting the next pandemic will come in flu. Also I have been telling that it is moving from bird flu, pig and poultry and also in humans.” He, however, refused to divulge any further details.
Bharat Biotech had earlier developed a vaccine for H1N1 or swine flu, which is a sub-type of the Influenza A virus that causes the respiratory infection, and was working on a more potent H1N1 vaccine around 2015.
H3N2 is also a subtype of the Influenza A virus and resulted in the first deaths in India in early March this year. Pointing out that he has taken his mind off COVID, Ella said “I am working on different things now, the one which is over there is no point working on it.”
Bharat Biotech had earlier said that it will be developing an antigen bank of 10 million doses as a stockpile for its nasal COVID-19 vaccine iNCOVACC.
Ella also reaffirmed that the capacity for iNCOVACC is very large and can be scaled up as required.
While Bharat Biotech developed iNCOVACC, a recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine, in collaboration with the Washington University at St Louis, the inactivated virus intra-muscular injectable vaccine Covaxin was developed by the company in collaboration with ICMR-NIV.
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