As the country cripples with a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, the Central government had assured procurement of over 200 crore vaccine doses by December 2021, enough to vaccinate the entire adult population.
The procurement will involve 130 crore doses of Covishield (75 crore doses) and Covaxin (55 crores) that are being administered to citizens as part of the nationwide vaccination drive. The rest of the vaccines involve the procurement of various foreign and indigenous vaccines that are currently in the advanced stages of their trials. These include:
With Serum Institute of India, Novavax is all set to launch in India and its vaccine jabs can be expected by September 2021. According to a press release issued by Novavax, the Serum Institute of India will manufacture ~1 billion doses of NVX-CoV2373 this year. Currently, Novavax which is named Covovax in India is in the advanced stages of phase 2/3 trials. The Serum Institute of India (SII) is expected to begin clinical trials of the Novavax vaccine for children in July of this year.
NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Preliminary data showed vaccine is 90% effective and safe, according to the company. Side effects included headache, fatigue, and muscle pain and were generally mild.
The government has made an advance payment of Rs 1,500 crore to Hyderabad-based manufacturer Biological E to reserve 30 crore doses of its under-development COVID-19 vaccine– Corbevax. When it finally comes, it may also be the cheapest vaccine available in India, said reports.
This was the first time that the Centre placed an order with a vaccine manufacturer before the product has been granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the regulator.
Biological E's COVID vaccine - Corbevax - is a recombinant protein sub-unit type that is unlike any other anti-COVID jab available in the Indian market. Corbevax is currently in stage 3 of clinical trials and is expected to be rolled out by September this year.
Manufactured by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila, the vaccine is ready to apply for an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in the coming seven-eight days. ZyCoV-D will be the second indigenous COVID vaccine to apply for emergency use authorization. It will be the world's first DNA vaccine against coronavirus. ZyCoV-D is a DNA vaccine, that carries the genetic code for the part of the virus which triggers the immune system of the body.
Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D vaccine is being developed with support from the Centre's National Biopharma Mission as part of the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council, Department of Biotechnology.
Sputnik’s booster shot
The developers of the Russian Coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V have said they will soon offer booster doses that will work against the Delta variant of Coronavirus (first detected in India), to other vaccine manufacturers. Although vaccine manufacturers across the world are divided over administering doses of different COVID-19 vaccines, Sputnik V makers have widely proposed the idea of the 'vaccine cocktail'.
Gamaleya Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the maker of Sputnik V, has contended that different vectors for two vaccine shots will result in higher efficacy than using the same vector for two shots.
Bharat Biotech’s nasal shot vaccine
Bharat Biotech is set to manufacture a billion doses of a single-dose intranasal COVID-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri. The vaccine ‘BBV154’ is currently in phase 1 and 2 clinical trial. Bharat Biotech will be providing 10 crore doses of its nasal vaccine to the government after the trial ends.
An intranasal vaccine is likely to boost the vaccination drive as they overcome barriers to delivery and administration, and can also tap an additional set of immune cells in the tissues lining the nose, mouth and lungs.