India / India approves emergency use of COVID-19 jabs Covovax, Corbevax & Merck's antiviral pill

Zoom News : Dec 28, 2021, 02:06 PM
New Delhi: The Centre has given an emergency use authorisation approval to two vaccines and one antiviral drug to strengthen its fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday.

“Further strengthening the fight against Covid-19, CDSCO, health ministry has given 3 approvals in a single day for CORBEVAX vaccine, COVOVAX vaccine, anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for restricted use in an emergency situation,” Mansukh Mandaviya posted on Twitter.

The approval comes a day after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recommended granting emergency use authorisation for the above two vaccines and one anti-viral drug.

Covovax will be made by the Serum Institute of India (SII) while Biological-E will make the Corbevax vaccine.

Health minister Mandaviya said on Tuesday that Corbevax is the country's first indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine against Covid-19.

The number of vaccines that have received emergency use authorisation has now increased to eight.

Till now, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and ZyCoV-D have so far received the authorisation.

Molnupiravir, Merck's Covid-19 pill will be manufactured by 13 companies in India to treat adult patients and who have a high risk of progression of the disease.

“Molnupiravir, an antiviral drug, will now be manufactured in the country by 13 companies for restricted use under emergency situations for treatment of adult patients with Covid-19 and who have a high risk of progression of the disease,” Mandaviya also tweeted on Tuesday.

People familiar with developments told news agency PTI that Molnupiravir is not authorised for use in patients less than 18 years of age and for initiation of treatment in patients requiring immediate hospitalisation due to the coronavirus at that stage.

The drug is also not authorised for use for longer than five consecutive days and pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis for prevention of Covid-19 for pregnant women.

According to the Union health ministry, India has administered 1.43 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses so far and more than 839 million of all adults have received at least one dose.

India will begin vaccinating those aged 15-18 from January 3 and start administering Covid-19 booster shots as a precautionary measure to healthcare and frontline workers from January 10.