Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 14
US biotechnology firm Novavax on Monday announced that its Covid-19 vaccine demonstrated over 93 per cent efficacy against the predominantly circulating virus variants of concern and variants of interest and offered 100 per cent protection against moderate and severe disease.
Drone delivery of jabs
The govt has invited bids from companies for delivery of vaccines and drugs via drones.
70,421 fresh cases
TOTAL DEATHS 3,74,305
ACTIVE CASES 9,73,158
3,921 deaths in 24 hours
The vaccine, which Serum Institute of India (SII) will produce in collaboration with Novavax for supplies at home and the world, has shown 90.4 per cent efficacy overall in late stage clinical trials and 91 per cent efficacy in high-risk populations. The development augurs well for India, which will procure 20 crore doses of Covovax (SII to produce and market Novavax vaccine by this name), a recombinant nanoparticle protein-based jab.
A step closer
Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional Covid-19 vaccines. - Stanley C Erck, Novavax Chief
The SII is already producing the Covishield vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
The Government of India has already factored in 20 crore Covovax doses in the larger pool of 2 billion it expects to make available for the national inoculation drive between August and December.
The Covovax stock would be key to the overall Indian vaccine plan as the government gears to inoculate the entire 95 crore adult population requiring 1.9 billion doses.
The Novavax study enrolled 29,960 participants across 119 sites in the US and Mexico to evaluate the efficacy, safety and immunogenicity. It laid an emphasis on recruiting a representative population of communities and demographic groups most impacted by the disease.
“Today, Novavax is one step closer to addressing the critical and persistent global public health need for additional Covid-19 vaccines,” said Novavax president Stanley C. Erck. The company intends to file for regulatory authorisations in the third quarter of 2021.
Upon regulatory approvals, Novavax will reach a manufacturing capacity of 100 million doses per month by the end of the third quarter and 150 million doses per month by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.
The availability of a new, efficacious vaccine would mean easier availability of doses for the developing and other low income countries. Importantly, Novavax jabs can be stored at 2 to 8°Celsius and would not need ultra low temperatures like Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. That would make it easy to use and transport.
The development coincided with India recording daily Covid cases of 70,421, the lowest in 74 days, and the active cases falling below 10 lakh to 9,73,158 (3.30 per cent of the total infections) after 66 days.
Daily Covid deaths today were 3,921, taking the toll to 3,74,305. The recovery rate improved to 95.43 per cent.
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