On Monday, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Hyderabad-based Biological E’s Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax for use in children aged 12 to 18.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is now only available in India to people aged 15 to 18. The government’s expert group on vaccine delivery is anticipated to meet shortly to discuss whether or not to extend the Covid-19 immunisation coverage to children as young as 12 years old.
Corbevax is India’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19. The vaccine received emergency use authorisation for the adult population in December last year. However, it is yet to be used in the Covid-19 immunisation drive.
Corbevax is built on the traditional subunit vaccine platform. Instead of using the whole virus, the platform triggers an immune response by using its fragments, like the spike protein. The sub-unit vaccine contains harmless S-protein. Once the human immune system recognises the S-protein, it produces antibodies as white blood cells that fight the infection.
“We are pleased with this significant development, which helps extend the reach of our vaccine to the age group of 12 to 18 years in our country. We truly believe that with this approval, we are even closer to finishing our global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Once fully vaccinated, children can resume their activities and educational pursuits in schools and colleges without any apprehension,” Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E Limited, said.