India approves Corbevax, Covovax vaccines for emergency use | India News

NEW DELHI/HYDERABAD: The drug regulator on Tuesday approved two new Covid vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covovax and Biological E’s Corbevax — for restricted use in emergency situation.
The regulator has also granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) to Molnupiravir, which has shown promise in early use in treatment of mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults, having nearly halved the risk of hospitalisation and death.
Biological E managing director Mahima Datla told TOI that Corbevax will be the most affordable and one of the safest Covid-19 vaccines. “We have already produced 200 million doses that are stocked in our cold room. We hope to complete government’s 300-million doses order by February 2022,” Datla said. The 20-dose vials of Corbevax, to be given in two doses of 0.5ml each at a gap of 28 days via intramuscular injection, can be stored between 2-8 degree Celsius.
The approvals by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) assume significance as they will expand the basket of jabs providing people with more options. Approval of Molnupiravir, developed by Merck and its partner Ridgeback, is also touted as a game-changer for high-risk individuals and people with weakened immunity as it is the world’s first medicine to treat symptomatic Covid-19. Around 13 major local pharmaceutical companies have received permission to manufacture the drug.
“Congratulations India. Further strengthening the fight against Covid-19, CDSCO, @MoHFW_INDIA has given 3 approvals in a single day for: – CORBEVAX vaccine – COVOVAX vaccine – Anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for restricted use in emergency situation,” health minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.
India still has at least two more promising candidates in the vaccine pipeline that may get approval next year. Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has developed India’s first mRNA vaccine called HGC019, which is currently under Phase 2/3 trials. The company is expected to complete the process by January-end.
Bharat Biotech is also developing a nasal vaccine, which the company says cuts transmissibility by attacking it at the point of entry — nose and upper respiratory tract. The vaccine has completed Phase 2 trials and is also likely to seek early approval in 2022.

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