Home / News / India /  Govt panel approves Covovax vaccine for 7-11-year-olds. Explainer

An expert panel of India's central drug authority has recommended granting emergency use authorisation to Serum Institute's Covovax for children aged 7 to 11 years. However, the new Covid vaccine still awaits the final approval of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

The DCGI had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28 and in the 12 to 17 years age group subject to certain conditions on March 9.

"The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the CDSCO deliberated on the EUA application of SII and recommended granting emergency use authorisation for Covovax for children aged 7 to 11 years," an official said.

About Covovax:

  • Covovax is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
  • It is stable at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius refrigerated temperatures.
  • The vaccine uses a novel platform and is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
  • Covovax (Novavax)  is the only vaccine manufactured in India that is also sold in Europe and has an efficacy of 90%, according to SII, Pune.
  • Covovax is colourless to slightly yellow, clear to mildly opalescent, and free to practically free from visible particles.
  • Covovax is administered intramuscularly as a course of 2 doses of 0.5 mL each. It is recommended to administer the second dose 3 weeks after the first dose.
  • Currently, Covovax is priced at 225. Earlier, the Serum Institute of India had kept the cost at 900. At private centres a dose of Covaxin costs 386, including GST.

India had delivered about 200,000 doses of Covovax vaccines to Thailand. The Quad grouping of countries -India, US, Australia, and Japan- have provided almost four and a half million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Thailand. These countries have also provided aid in terms of funds, and last-mile delivery support ensuring that vaccines are translating into vaccinations.

India began inoculating children aged 12-14 on March 16. Currently, children aged 12 to 14 years are vaccinated with Biological E's intramuscular vaccine Corbevax, while those in the 15-18 age group are being administered Bharat Biotech's Covaxin at government vaccination centres.

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