No Major Mutations Of Coronavirus, Won’t Affect Vaccine Development: PMO

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New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday said that two studies conducted on the genome of the coronavirus in India suggests that the virus is genetically stable and has not mutated much.

Of the 3 vaccines in the forefront of development, two are in Phase II and one in Phase III trials, the PMO said.

“Two pan-India studies on the Genome of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) in India conducted by ICMR and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus,” a statement from PMO read.

Earlier this week, ICMR Director-General Dr Balram Bhargava had said that minor changes or “drifts” may happen but major genetic mutations or “shifts” are not expected before a decade or two. The effectiveness of a vaccine will not be determined by “drifts”, he had explained.

Another study was carried out by an international team led by researchers at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi.

The PMO also said it is preparing a detailed blueprint for vaccine storage, distribution and administration in consultation with state governments and all relevant stakeholders.

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