Researchers associated with ICMR-National Institute of Virology and Bharat Biotech studied neutralization of the parental B.1 virus and variants of concern- B.1.351 and B.1.617.
WHO said that available findings for lineages B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2 were initially used to designate B.1.617 a global Variant of Concern (VOC) on May 11 this year.
The WHO's move came nearly three weeks after India objected to the B.1.617 mutant of the novel coronavirus being termed an 'Indian Variant'.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca two-dose vaccine is also being produced by the Serum Institute of India as Covishield and being administered among the adult population in India.
Bolton town has seen a sharp spike in infections since mid-April, Public Health England said.
The name "Indian variant" describes a strain -- B.1.617 -- that in fact groups together three distinct subvariants sharing some, but not all, of several mutations.
"For the public, what needs to be communicated very clearly is that there is a greater need to double mask and maintain social distancing as this virus is highly infectious," a senior scientist said.
There is no evidence that the variants are evading immunity. Covaxin immunity has been proved to be effective against all new variants, says Dr John in this interview.
The N440K is neither a 'variant of interest' nor is virulent now, the state Health Department has said quoting a study by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
In a press briefing by the Ministry of Health Affairs on Wednesday, officials said the long COVID wave of such "ferocity" that the country was experiencing currently "was not predicted".
Divya Tej Sowpati, a scientist at CCMB said while N440K was indeed a mutation of concern in South India during and after the first wave, current data show it is replaced by new variants.