Serum Institute of India (SII) will introduce Covavax in India by September, people familiar with the development told ANI on Thursday. Covavax is a version of US firm Novavax's Covid-19 vaccine candidate. The SII also said that it will start clinical trials of Novavax for children in July.
Novavax vaccine has shown strong efficacy against the emerging variants of Covid-19 in a large trial, the biotech firm said on June 14. This is also the fourth vaccine the United States has added to its arsenal. Novavax Inc said that the jabs are 90% effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and showed 100% effectiveness at preventing moderate and severe symptoms.
The vaccine showed 93% effectiveness against variants of concern based on test results from a secondary analysis which mostly consisted of cases of the alpha variant which is predominant in the United States. The vaccine is based on recombinant protein technology. With over 90% overall efficacy, the vaccine efficacy rate is similar to the reported rates of Pfizer Inc. with BioNTech SE and by Moderna Inc., as well as the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. All of these are messenger RNA shots and use viral vector technology.
India has closely observed the developments related to the vaccine. The government on Tuesday said that it finds the efficacy data of the theNovavax shots 'encouraging and promising'. NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul said that the SII producing the vaccine in India makes the vaccine more relevant. While addressing the daily Covid-19 vaccine press briefing on Tuesday Paul said the SII has already accomplished the preparatory work and is conducting a bridging trial which is in advanced stages of completion.
Stanley Erck, Novavax's chief executive officer, said that Novavax Inc. will file for regulatory approval globally and said that most of the first available doses will be sent to low- and middle-income countries. "If you are going to stop this pandemic, you can't just stop it in the US," Erck was quoted as saying by news agency Bloomberg.