Pharmaceuticals firm Biological E Ltd's COVID-19 vaccine, Corbevax, became the first vaccine to be approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) as a booster dose for the 18-plus age group.
"Corbevax gets DCGI nod as a heterologous COVID-19 booster dose, announces Biological E. Limited," reported news agency ANI.
Once it is notified by the health ministry, Corbevax will then be allowed as booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine. This means that adults fully vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin can take Corbevax as their third or booster shot.
Hyderabad-based Biological E developed Corbevax in collaboration with the Texas Children’s Hospital Centre for Vaccine Development and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
It is “India’s first indigenously developed protein subunit vaccine against Covid-19”. Corbevax uses a recombinant protein platform to target the spike protein on the virus particle’s surface.
In February this year, Corbevax received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the DCGI for use on kids aged 12 years and above.
Last month, the company had reduced the price of its vaccine to Rs 250 from Rs 840 a dose, inclusive of GST, for private vaccination centres. It would result in end users paying a price of Rs 400 a dose, including taxes and administration charges, the company said in a statement.
Previously, in private vaccination centres the overall cost to end-users of the vaccine was Rs 990 a dose, including taxes and administration charges, it added.
Corbevax's approval also happens to come at a time when COVID-19 cases seem to be rising again.
India logged a single-day rise of 3,962 coronavirus infections and 26 fatalities, pushing the overall tally to 4,31,72,547 cases and 5,24,677 deaths, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.Cognizant of the rise, Maharashtra has also reintroduced mandatory masking in public places, as the state saw over 1,000-plus cases for the third day on June 3.