The Centre has opened up Covid-19 vaccination for children between the ages of 12 and 14, allowing them to receive Corbevax, a vaccine against Covid-19 that is manufactured by Hyderabad-based Biological-E. Corbevax is India’s first indigenously developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein sub-unit vaccine.
GS II- Health
Dimensions of the Article:
- What is Corbevax?
- What is the scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy for Corbevax?
What is Corbevax?
- Corbevax, a protein sub-unit Covid-19 vaccine, is one that is built on the traditional sub-unit vaccine platform.
- Instead of the whole virus, the platform triggers an immune response by using fragments of it, like the spike protein.
- The sub-unit vaccine contains the harmless S-protein, and once the human immune system recognises it, it produces antibodies, such as white blood cells, that fight the infection.
- Corbevax includes antigenic parts of the virus to trigger a protective immune response.
- The antigen has been developed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Centre for Vaccine Development and in-licensed from BCM Ventures, Baylor College of Medicine’s integrated commercialization team.
What is the scientific evidence on the safety and efficacy for Corbevax?
- Corbevax was approved by the DCGI based on interim results of the ongoing phase II and III clinical trials.
- The vaccine had already been approved for adults. However, details of these efficacy studies have not been made public nor published in a peer-reviewed journal.
- The Centre had placed an order for 50 million doses of Corbevax at the cost of ₹145 per dose.
Two controversial aspects of the Corbevax trial:
- One, the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), which traditionally reviews available data on vaccine safety and recommends a vaccine to be publicly administered, has not scrutinised the Corbevax safety and efficacy profile for 12 to 14 year olds.
- Secondly, its unclear why, when Covaxin and Corbevax are approved for 12 to 18-year-olds, only Corbevax is allowed to be administered.
-Source: The Hindu, Indian Express