SII starts production of Covovax, CEO says it has ‘great potential’ for children

COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed Covovax in India, is a protein-based vaccine developed by the company Novavax Inc, established in the US.

In a new move towards ensuring better inoculation, the Serum Institute of India (SII) has started the production of the first batch of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in India, dubbed Covovax.

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Novavax is a protein-based vaccine developed by the company Novavax Inc, established in the US. The scientific name of the vaccine is NVX-CoV2373, and it generates antigens using recombinant nanoparticle technology.,

SII CEO Adar Poonawalla addressed the topic in a tweet on Friday, saying he was “Excited to witness the first batch of Covovax (developed by Novavax) being manufactured this week at our facility in Pune. The vaccine has great potential to protect our future generations below the age of 18. Trials are ongoing.”

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If things go according to the schedule, the vaccine is expected to launch for adults by September. Novavax has undergone trial in the United States, with the double doses showing a 91% effective rate among volunteers at high risk of severe infection.

Further, it is shown to be 100% effective in the prevention of moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.

CEO Adar Poonawalla was quoted by The Time of India as saying, “We plan to begin the pediatric trials in 920 children across 10 sites next month after seeking permission from the DCGI (Drug  Controller General of India).”

The Covovax vaccine will be the fourth COVID-19 vaccine in line to undergo clinical trials for children in the country.

The latest guidelines of the DCGI dictate that if a COVID-19 vaccine is in the WHO Emergency Use Listing, or has received approval from top regulatory authorities in Europe, Japan, UK, or the USA, it is exempt from the post-approval bridging trials and batch testing requirements in India.

This enables the SII to apply for a license for the vaccine based on global test results before local trials are over. As the third wave looms on the horizon, speculations have emerged regarding the possible effect of the new wave on children.

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