The subject expert panel on Covid-19 vaccines on Monday recommended the drug regulator to grant emergency use authorisation to Hyderabad-based Biological E’s Corbevax for the age group of 12-18 years, subject to conditions, sources said.
The committee’s recommendations will be taken up by the drug regulator for formal approval of the vaccine in the next few days.
Corbevax is India’s first indigenously developed protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19. At present, India is administering Covid-19 vaccines to 15-18 years.
The expert panel on vaccine administration is expected to meet soon to take a decision to expand Covid-19 vaccination coverage from 12 years onwards.
Corbevax is built on the traditional subunit vaccine platform: instead of using the whole virus, the platform triggers an immune response by using fragments of it, like the spike protein.
The sub-unit vaccine contains harmless S-protein; once the immune system recognises S protein, it produces antibodies as white blood cells that fight the infection. At present, only Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin can be administered to the adolescent population.
Bio E’s Corbevax includes an antigen developed by Texas Children’s Hospital Centre for Vaccine Development and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine’s integrated commercialization team. The Centre has already made an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore to reserve 30 crore doses of Corbevax.