A batch of Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Biological E’s Covid Corbevax vaccine has been cleared by the country’s top testing lab in Himachal Pradesh, paving the way for the manufacturer to start stockpiling, News18.com has learned.

Kasauli’s Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) on Tuesday authorized the first batch of Corbevax vaccine, which was sent for testing before Biological E could start manufacturing for the rollout of the national Covid-19 vaccination program.

“The report has been sent to the Comptroller General of Drugs of India (DCGI) regarding the authorization of the test batches. The company will soon be informed by its office, ”a senior official from the Department of Health and Family Welfare told News18.com.

The vaccine is expected to be urgently approved by the end of this month or December, the official said, adding that “by the time the vaccine becomes available for public use, there won’t be many takers. “.

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Almost 80% of eligible Indians have already received the first dose of a Covid vaccine and, under current protocols, will not be able to take Corbevax. However, trials in children and use as a potential single-dose booster injection for all who have been vaccinated with Covaxin and Covishield are ongoing.

“We already have millions of doses (of vaccines already available) lined up for testing at CDL and also in production lines. When the new vaccine is launched, it will have a small audience for administration, ”the official said.

Corbevax is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine. Whereas an mRNA vaccine inserts only the genetic code of the pathogen to trigger an immune response, a subunit vaccine achieves this effect by relying only on part of the virus which, in this case, is its peak protein. The new coronavirus uses advanced proteins, which also give it its name, to attach itself to human cells.

Corbevax is the third vaccine made in India against Covid: the other two indigenous vaccines are Covaxin and ZyCoV-D. Seeing that it was a vaccine with great potential, the government had made a deposit of 1,500 crore rupees and announced 30 crore doses of Corbevax by December.

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The government in a statement in June also announced that the vaccine doses would be manufactured and stored by Biological E from August-December 2021. However, according to official sources, the manufacture of the vaccine had encountered a roadblock after making faced with a shortage of certain imported raw materials. “In September, the company managed to procure the raw material,” said an official.

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