INDIA – The Indian government through the Serum Institute of India (SII) is planning to introduce an Indian version of Covavax originally formulated by a US based biotech company, Novavax Inc.

Clinical trials are underway in India and the vaccine is likely to hit the market under the name Covavax by September this year though clinical trials on children are expected to kick-off from July.

The vaccine is among the first to have undergone phase 3 clinical trials at a time when new Covid-19 variants of concern such as the B.1.1.7 (Alpha) and B.1.351 (Beta) are becoming prevalent amongst the population.

The SII based in Pune, India added the vaccine to its manufacturing list along-side the AstraZeneca vaccine and Covaxin after the government gave a greenlight to have it manufactured.

According to data from Novavax Inc. based on a test sample size of 29,960 persons, the vaccine’s efficacy rate is over 90% against Covid infection and 100 per cent efficacy in protection from severe disease against Covid.

Its efficacy rate is similar to the reported rates of vaccines from Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE, Moderna Inc., as well as the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia all of which are viral vector technology vaccines that use a modified version of one virus as a vector to deliver to a cell a nucleic acid coding for an antigen for another infectious agent.

India is currently considered a global hot zone of the virus with 29.8 million infections and 383,490 related deaths as new variants of the virus are surging from the pharmaceutical giant state.

With only two types of vaccines being issued by the state, data still shows how far the state is in reference to curbing this fast spreading virus as well as its variants.

According to data from the Indian ministry of health, at least 262,970,250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered at an average distribution rate of 3,064,360 per day and this only stands for 15.7% receiving at least a dose and 3.5% being fully vaccinated.

The introduction of this vaccine alongside the other two vaccines is a move by the nation to bolster the fight against the virus as the government aims to have all its citizens vaccinated by the end of the year even though the drive has been hobbled by vaccine hesitancy.