In view of rising cases of COVID-19 in various parts of the country, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is learnt to have approved the inclusion of Serum Institute’s Covovax on the CoWIN portal as a heterologous booster dose for adults, official sources said on Monday.
Covovax is likely to be available on the portal in a few days at a price of Rs 225 per dose plus applicable GST.
The move comes after a letter was written by Prakash Kumar Singh, Director, Serum Institute of India (SII) to the Union health ministry on March 27, the sources said.
According to an official source, Singh had mentioned in his letter to the ministry that Covovax is a world class vaccine approved by the DCGI, WHO and USFDA and it should be included on the CoWIN portal as a heterologous booster dose for adults.
Covovax can be administered to those who have already vaccinated with Covishield or Covaxin. Last month, the COVID-19 Working Group headed by Dr N K Arora had also recommended to the Health Ministry for the inclusion of the vaccine on the portal as a heterologous booster dose for adults who have been vaccinated with two doses of either Covishield or Covaxin.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on January 16 had approved the market authorisation for Covovax for those who have been administered two doses of either Covishield or Covaxin. Also, Covovax has been approved by WHO and USFDA, USA.
The DCGI had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28, 2021, in the 12-17 age group on March 9 and also in children aged 7- 11 years on 28 June, 2022 subject to certain conditions.
Covovax is manufactured through technology transfer from Novavax. It has been approved by the European Medicines Agency for conditional marketing authorization. It was granted emergency-use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 17, 2021.
In August 2020, US-based vaccine maker Novavax Inc. had announced a licence agreement with the SII for the development and commercialisation of NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India and low-and-middle-income countries.
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