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What do we know about the use of cattle blood in Covaxin vaccine research and development?

What do we know about the use of cattle blood in Covaxin vaccine research and development?

This article was published on
February 2, 2021

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The Covaxin vaccine is a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and uses an inactivated virus approach to help the body build an immune response against COVID-19. Inactivated viral vaccines have been used for over 100 years, including for polio, rabies and hepatitis A. In order to grow cells in laboratory settings for vaccine research, serum from calf or fetal blood is sometimes used. It helps cells grow and replicate so they can be studied. Covaxin has been reported to use calf serum as a building block in its vaccine development, according to journalists. Bharat Biotech—the maker of Covaxin—has yet to comment on whether the presence of calf serum is used in the vaccine itself, or just in the vaccine's development process According to Bharat BioTech, the Covaxin vaccine is made up of 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel, TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone, TM 2-phenoxyethanol, and phosphate buffer saline.

The Covaxin vaccine is a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and uses an inactivated virus approach to help the body build an immune response against COVID-19. Inactivated viral vaccines have been used for over 100 years, including for polio, rabies and hepatitis A. In order to grow cells in laboratory settings for vaccine research, serum from calf or fetal blood is sometimes used. It helps cells grow and replicate so they can be studied. Covaxin has been reported to use calf serum as a building block in its vaccine development, according to journalists. Bharat Biotech—the maker of Covaxin—has yet to comment on whether the presence of calf serum is used in the vaccine itself, or just in the vaccine's development process According to Bharat BioTech, the Covaxin vaccine is made up of 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel, TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone, TM 2-phenoxyethanol, and phosphate buffer saline.

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What our experts say

The Covaxin vaccine is a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and uses an inactivated virus approach to help the body build an immune response against COVID-19. Inactivated viral vaccines have been used for over 100 years, including for polio, rabies and hepatitis A.

In order to grow cells in laboratory settings for vaccine research, serum from calf or fetal blood is sometimes used. It helps cells grow and replicate so they can be studied. Covaxin has been reported to use calf serum as a building block in its vaccine development, according to journalists. Bharat Biotech—the maker of Covaxin—has yet to comment on whether the presence of calf serum is used in the vaccine itself, or just in the vaccine's development process

According to Bharat BioTech, the Covaxin vaccine is made up of 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel, TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone, TM 2-phenoxyethanol, and phosphate buffer saline.

The Covaxin vaccine is a vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech and uses an inactivated virus approach to help the body build an immune response against COVID-19. Inactivated viral vaccines have been used for over 100 years, including for polio, rabies and hepatitis A.

In order to grow cells in laboratory settings for vaccine research, serum from calf or fetal blood is sometimes used. It helps cells grow and replicate so they can be studied. Covaxin has been reported to use calf serum as a building block in its vaccine development, according to journalists. Bharat Biotech—the maker of Covaxin—has yet to comment on whether the presence of calf serum is used in the vaccine itself, or just in the vaccine's development process

According to Bharat BioTech, the Covaxin vaccine is made up of 6µg of whole-virion inactivated SARS-CoV-2 antigen (Strain: NIV-2020-770), and the other inactive ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide gel, TLR 7/8 agonist (imidazoquinolinone, TM 2-phenoxyethanol, and phosphate buffer saline.

Context and background

There has been some news about the Covaxin vaccine being made using blood serum from newborn cattle. Bharat Biotech has not commented on the matter.

If cattle blood serum was used by Bharat BioTech, it was likely from a living newborn calf in the form of a cardiac puncture in order to grow/replicate cells as a part of vaccine development.

There has been some news about the Covaxin vaccine being made using blood serum from newborn cattle. Bharat Biotech has not commented on the matter.

If cattle blood serum was used by Bharat BioTech, it was likely from a living newborn calf in the form of a cardiac puncture in order to grow/replicate cells as a part of vaccine development.

Resources

  1. Covaxin Factsheet (Bharat BioTech)
  2. How are vaccines developed? (WHO)
  3. Bovine Derived Materials Used in Vaccine Manufacturing Questions and Answers (FDA)
  4. This is why blood from newborn cattle is being used to develop Indian Covid vaccine(The Print)
  5. Recent Claim On ICMR And Bharat Biotech Using FBS To Produce COVID-19 Vaccine Is Misleading (Newschecker.in)
  1. Covaxin Factsheet (Bharat BioTech)
  2. How are vaccines developed? (WHO)
  3. Bovine Derived Materials Used in Vaccine Manufacturing Questions and Answers (FDA)
  4. This is why blood from newborn cattle is being used to develop Indian Covid vaccine(The Print)
  5. Recent Claim On ICMR And Bharat Biotech Using FBS To Produce COVID-19 Vaccine Is Misleading (Newschecker.in)

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