Covaxin, India's home-grown COVID-19 vaccine, has been found to neutralise the 617 variant of the deadly virus, White House chief medical adviser and America's top pandemic expert Dr Anthony Fauci said in Washington.
Fauci was speaking to reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.
"This is something where we're still gaining data on a daily basis. But the most recent data, was looking at convalescent Sera of COVID-19 cases and people who received the vaccine used in India, the Covaxin. It was found to neutralise the 617 variants," he said.
"So, despite the real difficulty that we're seeing in India, vaccination could be a very, very important antidote against this," Fauci said.
The United States is sending a whole series of help that India needs in its battle against COVID-19, President Joe Biden said here, reiterating that New Delhi had done the same when his country was in need last year.
Biden had spoken at length with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and conveyed solidarity with India in its fight against the viral disease.
''We are sending immediately a whole series of help that he needs, including providing for those remdesivir and other drugs that are able to deal with this,'' Biden told reporters at a White House news conference on Tuesday.
''We are sending the actual mechanical parts that are needed for the machinery they have to build a vaccine, and that is being done as well,'' he said.
The president said he had discussed with Prime Minister Modi on when the US would be able to send actual vaccines to India.
''The problem is right now, we have to make sure we have other vaccines like Novavax and others coming on probably, and I think we will be in a position to be able to share vaccines as well as know-how with other countries who are in real need,'' he said.
''I might add when we were in a bind in the very beginning, India helped us,'' Biden added.
The New York Times on Tuesday said Covaxin works by teaching the immune system to make antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The antibodies attach to viral proteins, such as the so-called spike proteins that stud its surface.
Developed by Bharat Biotech in partnership with National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council of Medical Research, Covaxin was approved for emergency use on January 3. Trial results later showed the vaccine has an efficacy of 78 per cent.
Responding to a question, Dr Andy Slavitt, White House COVID-19 Response Senior Advisor, said that a strike team from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is headed over to India to help coordinate this response.
"We are making sure that we are locating some of the raw materials necessary to create more vaccines in India, which I think is going to be an important help there," he said.
"We stand with the country of India during this very trying and tragic surge. We are working to deploy resources and supplies, including therapeutics, rapid testing kits, ventilators, PPE, and raw materials, that are needed to manufacture vaccines in India, and the CDC, which has a long history of working with and in India on public health measures, will be deploying a strike team to the country to support the public health efforts there," Slavitt said.
Given the strong portfolio of approved, highly effective and safe vaccines here in the United States, the administration is looking at options to share AstraZeneca vaccines with other countries as they become available.