Central India Approves Corbevax as Heterologous Booster Vaccine for Covid-19

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Biological E, a vaccine manufacturer, has received approval from the country’s drug regulator for its Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax to be used as a heterologous booster in adults. This means that individuals who have received Covishield or Covaxin as their initial doses can now take Corbevax as a third booster shot.

Previously, India did not allow mixing-and-matching of vaccines, requiring the third dose to be the same as the first and second doses. With the approval of the heterologous booster by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), the government will need to decide whether to include it in the national vaccination campaign.

India has administered a total of 193.9 crore vaccine doses, with 101 crore first doses, 89 crore second doses, and 3.5 crore precaution doses. Clinical trial data from Biological E showed that Corbevax as a booster dose significantly improved immune response and had a strong safety profile.

The approval followed a trial involving 416 individuals who received Corbevax or a placebo six months after their initial doses of Covishield or Covaxin. The levels of neutralizing antibodies increased significantly after the booster dose of Corbevax, with 91% efficacy for those who received Covishield and 75% for Covaxin recipients.

In addition to antibody levels, cell-mediated immunity was also higher compared to the placebo. The vaccine was well tolerated and safe, with no severe adverse events reported during a 3-month follow-up after the booster dose.

Corbevax is currently being used for vaccination of children aged 12-14 under the government program, and is available for children aged 12-17 at private vaccination centers. The company has supplied 100 million doses to the government, with 51.7 million doses administered to children nationwide.

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