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Business News/ News / India/  Biological E's Corbevax gets emergency approval for 12-18 age group

Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E Ltd on Monday said its coronavirus vaccine Corbevax, also India's third homegrown vaccine, has received an emergency use approval in India for use in children aged 12 to 18 years. 

India has so far only started vaccinating children aged 15 and above. According to government figures, more than 76 million children between 15 and 17 have been inoculated mainly using Covaxin.

Dr NK Arora, Chairman, India's Covid-19 Working group of National Technical Advisory Group on immunisation (NTAGI), had earlier said that Corbevax is safe and offers good immunogenicity and higher antibody levels than some other vector vaccines.

In an interview, Dr Arora had said, "Protein subunit vaccines are safe vaccines, the immunogenicity is very good and local reactions are also less as compared to some of the other vaccines like vector vaccine or mRNA vaccine. Another very important dimension about this vaccine is that compared to some of the vector vaccines, the antibody levels are much higher."

"Corbevax is called a protein subunit and currently we have an example of hepatitis B vaccine which is also similarly a protein subunit vaccine. Corbevax and the other vaccine in India, we have Covovax from Serum Institute. So, we have now these two vaccines and Corbevax yesterday as we know that it has been approved for children 12 to 18 years," he said.

Dr Arora added that the Corbevax vaccine worked well on even heterologous groups during clinical trials. 

"When this is given as a heterologous boost, it works very well. So I would say Corbevax, as a protein subunit vaccine, is a very welcome addition to the Indian vaccine scenario for COVID," the Covid-19 task force chief said.

"Production turnaround of Corbevax is very less and it is not very expensive. Its temperature requirement is like any other vaccines (2-8 degrees) and they can be used in our usual childhood immunization settings also without any difficulty." 

The NTAGI chief said the vaccine has shown "more activity" against Delta in comparison to Omicron. The government has placed an order with Biological E for five crore doses of 'Corbevax' COVID-19 vaccine with each dose costing 145, as per reports.

The Centre had earlier placed an order for 30 crore Corbevax doses on August 21 last year.

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Updated: 21 Feb 2022, 06:28 PM IST
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