Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday, 28 December, announced that the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had approved the COVID vaccines Corbevax and Covovax, for restricted emergency use in India.
Manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune, Covovax is the Indian version of US-based Novavax. Meanwhile, Corbevax is manufactured by Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E.
How do the vaccines work? What is the ideal dosage gap? Here's all you need to know.
How do Covovax, Corbevax work?
Corbevax and Covovax are protein subunit vaccines.
The vaccine injects the spike protein that teaches the body to develop antibodies against the novel coronavirus. While the spike protein injected is without the virus, the body uses the antibodies generated to fight the real virus when it looks to infect the person.
How many doses makes a complete jab?
Both Corbevax and Covovax are two-dose vaccines, like Covishield and Covaxin.
What is the ideal interval between the doses?
The WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation (SAGE) has recommended a gap of three to four weeks between two doses of Novavax.
According to the company, in the clinical trials, the vaccine doses were administered with a gap of 28 days.
However, the health ministry's guidelines on the gap in India is awaited.
How effective is Covovax?
In June, Novavax claimed that the vaccine has an effectiveness of over 90 percent in preventing symptomatic infection from COVID.
What about Corbevax?
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in June gave the green light to Biological E to conduct phase 3 clinical trials of its COVID vaccine based on 'promising results' in phases 1 and 2.
Neither the phase 2, nor phase 3 trial results of the vaccine have been made public yet.
Who should not take Covovax?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the following people should avoid taking the vaccine.
People who are allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine or have a history of anaphylaxis.
People who have a body temperature of over 38.5o Celsius.
Those who are COVID-19 positive, especially symptomatic cases.
However, the health ministry is expected to form a separate set of guidelines for India.
When will both the vaccines be available in India?
There is no clarity on this yet. Watch this space for more.