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Covovax Gets Govt Panel Nod, to Be Included in COVID Vax Drive for Kids over 12

SII's Covovax COVID vaccine has been recommended by a Govt panel to be added to India's vax drive for kids over 12.

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Covovax Gets Govt Panel Nod, to Be Included in COVID Vax Drive for Kids over 12
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Serum Institute of India's protein subunit based COVID-19 vaccine, Covovax, has been recommended for use in kids between the ages of 12 to 17 as part of the national COVID-19 inoculation drive by the Government's COVID-19 working group on Sunday, 3 April, reported IANS.

Covovax, produced by SII in India in collaboration with US based biotech company, Novavax, was approved for use in children over the age of 12 by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation's (CDSCO) Subject Expert Committee on 9 March.

The vaccine received an EUA for use in adults back in December 2021.

Based on the government panel's recommendation, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will make their final recommendation on including the vaccine being offered to children over the age of 12 in India.

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Currently, the only COVID vaccine being administered to kids between the ages of 12 and 15 is Biological E's Corbevax.

For children over the age of 15, Covaxin is being offered.

What Do We Know About Covovax?

Covovax COVID-19 vaccine developed by SII in collaboration with US based Novavax is a protein subunit vaccine.

This version of the Novavax vaccine was added to the WHO's list of approved COVID vaccines in February last year.

How does it work?

Covovax works by targeting the spike protein of the COVID virus to help the body develop immunity against the virus.

The difference is that it uses a different platform and is made by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Like Covaxin and Covishield, Covovax is also a two dose vaccine, and it can be stored in regular refrigerator temperatures of 2o to 8o C.

How effective is the vaccine?

Novavax, in June 2021, had said that their COVID-19 vaccine has an effectiveness of over 90 percent against symptomatic infections from the original strain of COVID, and new variants.

This was, of course, before the emergence of the Omicron variant.

In February this year, Novavax announced that their COVID vaccine was 80 percent effective in preventing symptomatic illness in kids between the ages of 12 and 17 based on data from phase 3 trials conducted in the US.

Last year, the company was given the green light to conduct clinical trials of Covovax in children between the age groups of 12 to 18, 7 to 11 and even 2 to 7. However, no data from these trials have been released to the public domain yet.

(Written with inputs from IANS.)

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