Amidst fears of the third wave of Coronavirus, vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) is planning to begin clinical trials of Novavax’s Coronavirus vaccine on children from July onwards. The vaccine which has been developed by the American biotechnology firm Novavax and branded as Covavax by SII will be administered to children in the clinical trials to test its efficacy, the Indian Express reported. A close source privy to the discussion from the Pune-based Serum Institute of India told the Indian Express that the clinical trials on children will begin from the month of July.
In the midst of vaccine shortage across the country, Novavax vaccine got a shot in the arm as the clinical trial phase 3 results showed about 90.4 percent efficacy. The clinical trials were conducted across 119 locations in the United States and Mexico and proved efficacy of the vaccine at par with other top vaccines like Moderna’s and Pfizer’s.
Soon after the news broke out about the excellent clinical trial results, Dr V K Paul who is the head of India Covid-19 task force urged Serum Institute to begin clinical trials of the vaccine on children without any delay. While terming the vaccine clinical trials result as a positive development, Dr Paul had also said the vaccine was very relevant as it would be indigenously produced in the country and groundwork for the manufacturing of the vaccine has also been completed by SII.
What makes the Covavax vaccine critical in the country’s Covid-19 immunisation programme is the fact that the government expects about 20 crore doses of the vaccine to be available between August and December. Also, the vaccine can be stored at a temperature between 2° and 8° Celsius which makes it highly suitable for Indian conditions where logistics and storage bottlenecks in far-flung areas hamper efficient inoculation.
After the completion of clinical trials and regulatory approval to the vaccine, India’s Covid-19 vaccination drive will pick pace with three indigenously manufactured vaccines namely- Serum’s Covishield and Covavax and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.