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WHO Grants Emergency Approval to Indian-Made Covid-19 Jab

The jab is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein


Covovax is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations. Photo illustration: Reuters

 

The World Health Organization on Friday announced it has granted emergency approval to the India-manufactured coronavirus vaccine Covovax, the ninth to be greenlighted by the global health body.

The jab, produced by Serum Institute of India under licence from the US-based Novavax, will now be distributed as part of Covax, the global vaccine-sharing system.

The move gives “a much-needed boost to ongoing efforts to vaccinate more people in lower-income countries”, WHO said in a statement.

“Even with new variants emerging, vaccines remain one of the most effective tools to protect people against serious illness and death from SARS-COV-2,” said Mariângela Simão, WHO assistant director-general for access to medicines and health products.

‘This listing aims to increase access particularly in lower-income countries, 41 of which have still not been able to vaccinate 10% of their populations, while 98 countries have not reached 40%,” she added.

Covovax is a subunit of the vaccine developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). It requires two doses and is stable at 2 to 8 °C refrigerated temperatures.

The vaccine uses a novel platform and is produced by creating an engineered baculovirus containing a gene for a modified SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

The originator product produced by Novavax, named Nuvaxovid, is currently under assessment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

WHO will complete its own assessment of this vaccine once the EMA has issued its recommendation.

 

  • George Russell

 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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