Amidst the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) has approved two new COVID-19 vaccines – Corbevax and Covovax – for restricted use in India in an emergency situation, the Union Health Ministry announced on Tuesday. The drug regulator has also permitted the emergency use of the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir to treat adult coronavirus patients with a higher risk of disease progression.
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Corbevax is an indigenous RBD protein sub-unit vaccine for COVID-19 developed by Biological-E in Hyderabad. On the other hand, Covovax is a nanoparticle vaccine that will be manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII) in Pune.
It is the second COVID-19 vaccine to be developed by SII after Covishield. While Corbevax will be administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each with a gap of 28 days, Covovax will be given 21 days apart. Both vaccines can be easily stored between a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees.
With Corbevax and Covovax getting the nod, a total of eight COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for use in India, including Covaxin, Covisield, Sputnik V, Moderna, ZyCoV-D and Johnson & Johnson.
The anti-viral drug Molnupiravir, developed by US-based companies Merck and Ridgeback, will be manufactured by 13 companies in India. As per the clinical trial results, the drug has reduced hospitalization and deaths due to COVID-19 by 30 per cent.
The drug was first used to treat COVID-19 in Britain in November and has been recently allowed for treating mild-to-moderate coronavirus cases by the US Food and Drug Administration.
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