Home / News / India /  Serum Institute to begin Novavax Covid vaccine trials for kids in July

The Serum Institute of India (SII) hopes to start the clinical trials of Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine 'Covovax' on children in July. This will be the fourth coronavirus vaccine to undergo a clinical trial for children in the country.

The SII is also planning to introduce 'Covovax' -- its version of the US firm Novavax's vaccine candidate -- in India by September.

Last year in September, Novavax had announced a manufacturing agreement with SII for its Covid-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373.

"Covovax trials finally begin in India; the vaccine is made through a partnership with @Novavax and @SerumInstIndia. It has been tested against African and UK variants of #COVID19 and has an overall efficacy of 89%. Hope to launch by September 2021!," SII CEO Adar Poonawalla had announced on Twitter.

The Indian Government is also keen on the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer starting a trial of the Covovax vaccine in children soon, NITI Aayog member health Dr VK Paul has said.

"As you know, they (Serum Institute) are conducting a bridging trial already, which is in advanced stages of completion... We hope they will complete the trial on schedule, and also hoping that they would also start in good time trials in children," the NITI Aayog member has said, adding that it is time to start the trial in paediatric population without delay.

Novavax's vaccine demonstrates 90% overall efficacy

Novavax, in a statement, had said stated that the vaccine candidate 'NVX-CoV2373' showed strong efficacy against the coronavirus in a large trial.

The shot was 90% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and 100% effective at preventing moderate and severe symptoms, the US-based biotech firm had said in a statement earlier. It was also 93% effective against variants of concern, as per results from a secondary analysis that mostly included cases of the alpha variant predominant in the US.

The vaccine is based on a recombinant protein technology, also used in the candidate developed by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. At over 90%, the overall efficacy of the vaccine is similar to reported rates for messenger RNA shots developed by Pfizer with BioNTech SE and by Moderna, as well as the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, using viral vector technology.

Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine can be stored in standard refrigerators, making it easier to distribute.

The coronavirus vaccine was effective against several variants, including the one first detected in the UK that's dominant in the US, and in high-risk populations including the elderly and people with other health problems.

The firm has also committed to supplying 110 million doses to the US over the next year and a total of 1.1 billion doses to developing nations.

The SII CEO had already said that the clinical trials of 'Covovax' have begun in India and the vaccine maker hopes to launch it by September this year.

SII is already supplying AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, in India and to other countries across the world.


Meghna Sen

Meghna Sen is a deputy chief content producer at Livemint where she tracks companies, news, markets. She has 5+ years of experience with print and online publications. Email: meghna.sen@htdigital.in
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