This brings the total number of approved vaccines in the country to 8
On Tuesday, the central government announced that it has approved the emergency use of two more COVID-19 vaccines - Corbevax and Covovax- and the new anti-viral pill, Molnupiravir, in the fight against COVID-19. The approval was granted by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), and the announcement came through the Health Minister's Twitter account.
This brings the total number of approved vaccines in the country up to 8. Previously, Serum Institute's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, ZyduCadila's ZyCoV-D, Russia's Sputnik V and the US-made Moderna and Johnson and Johnson had received emergency use authorisation.
Corbevax is the first such indigenous vaccine
Corbevax is India's first indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine for COVID-19. It is also the country's third indigenous vaccine overall. It has been created and will be manufactured by Hyderbad-based firm Biological-E. Covovax, on the other hand, is a nanoparticle-based vaccine that will be manufactured by Pune's Serum Institute of India, the firm behind the Covishield vaccine.
Molnupiravir to be used for high-risk patients
The anti-viral drug, Molnupiravir, will be used for the treatment of adult COVID-19 patients and people who have a high risk of progression of the disease, including hospitalisation or death. It will be prescribed to patients with SpO2 levels of 93%. It is reportedly effective against the Omicron variant as it does not target the spike proteins, where most of the mutations of the new variant are present. However, Molnupiravir is not advisable to be used for children as it may interfere with bone growth. Initially developed by US-based Merck, it will be manufactured by 13 companies across the country for restricted use. Sun Pharma will be bringing the drug to market under the name Molxvir.