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As the second wave of COVID-19 recedes across India, the key to preventing subsequent waves and moving towards normalcy clearly lies in vaccination. At the time of writing this article, 26,89,60,399 vaccine doses have been administered across India. While it is a high number on an absolute basis, given the size of our population, the effort needs to be sustained over a long period of time for community-level immunity to be achieved.
Currently, local manufacturing is being ramped up for Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V in India.
In addition, vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are expected to be made available soon as well. Meanwhile, two more vaccines are in the works – Covovax, which will be produced by Serum Institute of India (SII) and Corbevax, which will be manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological E.
While much is known about the current vaccines, this article aims to throw light on the two new rays of hope – Covovax and Corbevax.
- Covovax is the brand name of Novovax, a US-based biotechnology company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate – officially known as NVX-Cov-2373.
- In India, SII has received this licence to manufacture and distribute the vaccine.
- According to this report, the vaccine was more than 90 per cent effective in a late-stage US-based clinical trial. This vaccine is scheduled to be available in India by September 2021.
- The Novavax vaccine is more stable and easily stored than mRNA vaccines, which will be helpful in broad distribution.
According to the company’s website, the candidate has shown:
93 per cent efficacy against predominantly circulating Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest.
91 per cent efficacy in high-risk populations.
100 per cent efficacy against variants “not considered Variants of Concern/Interest”.
- Corbevax is slated to be manufactured in India by Biological E.
- This vaccine has been developed in collaboration with US-based Dynavax and Baylor College of Medicine.
- According to this report, Dr N K Arora, Chairman of India’s COVID-19 Working Group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation said, “According to the company, Biological E’s vaccine, which will be dubbed Corbevax, is identical to the Novavax vaccination, which is more than 90 per cent effective against COVID variations.”
- Biological E is also in discussions with Johnson & Johnson to manufacture and distribute J&J’s single dose vaccine in India, and is currently in the process of planning clinical trials here.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)