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Top things you should know about Corbevax: The COVID-19 Vaccine for kids

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 21 March 2022, Updated on - 19 August 2022

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Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still staring at an alarming gap in global access to life-saving vaccines. While the global vaccine inequity may not be of interest to many of us, it is still a matter of grave concern for the entire mankind. Experts say that until and unless the entire global population is vaccinated against the virus, the latter will continue to mutate and spawn newer variants. While different COVID-19 vaccines are being used across the globe, a new vaccine, Corbevax, has been introduced to provide immunity to kids against this contagious virus.

Recommended Read: Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 vaccines

About Corbevax 

Corbevax is a COVID-19 vaccine using a “recombinant protein subunit”, which means it uses the spike protein (present on the surface of the disease-causing virus) to offer protection against the virus. The spike protein allows the SARS-CoV-2 virus to enter the cells, multiply, and cause illness. However, when the spike protein alone is administered in the form of a vaccine, it is not harmful as the rest of the virus is absent. Instead, the injected spike proteins stimulate the immune system to generate antibodies. When the real virus attempts to cause infection, the immune system is prepared to fight it and prevent severe illness. 

Development of Corbevax 

Corbevax has been developed by medical researchers at Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The initial development of the vaccine started twenty years ago during the first SARS outbreak in China. However, when the new strain of the coronavirus family called SARS-CoV-2 triggered the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists realized they could modify this vaccine to fight this new virus as it was similar to the one that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. According to scientists, Corbevax is safe, effective, low-cost, easy to manufacture and can be stored locally. This makes the vaccine an ideal candidate for low and middle-income countries to inoculate their population. 

In India, the vaccine has been licensed patent-free to Hyderabad-based Biological E, one of the country’s largest vaccine makers. From February 2022, the company has been manufacturing 10 crore doses per month. 

Recommended Read: Tips to manage COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Clinical Trials and Efficacy

Complete phase III clinical trial data of Corbevax is yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. According to a study, the Corbevax vaccine is over 90% effective against preventing infection from the original COVID-19 strain and more than 80% preventative against the deadly Delta variant. The scientists concluded that the vaccine is safe, well-tolerated, and effective in preventing symptomatic infections and severe disease.

Recommended Read: COVID-19 Vaccines: How effective are they in the real world?

Use Of Vaccine 

On 28 December 2021, the Drugs Controller General of India granted restricted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Corbevax. In February 2022, the drug regulator approved the vaccine for use in children and teenagers aged between 12 to 18 years. Beginning March 16, 2022, the vaccine is being used to inoculate children aged 12 to 14 years against COVID-19.

Recommended Read: Why young and healthy adults should get vaccinated against COVID-19

Takeaway

Experts say that Corbevax can address the problem of global vaccine inequity. It has been developed using the protein subunit technology, a well-established vaccine platform that is relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to scale up. As a result, the patent-free vaccine can be used to vaccinate more people around the world, especially in low-income countries that cannot afford to purchase other currently available but expensive vaccines.

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