Mixed booster rollout with Corbevax
India’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is set to introduce its first “heterologous” booster by adding the vaccine named Corbevax as an option for adults due for booster shots, starting August 12.
The Union health ministry announced on Wednesday that Corbevax would be available as a “precaution dose” after completion of six months from the second dose of either Covaxin or Covishield vaccines for people above 18 years.
The ministry said there would be no change in the existing guidelines on homologous precaution doses under which recipients of Covaxin and Covishield receive the same vaccine as a booster shot. Corbevax thus would be an available option that booster seekers may exercise.
Corbevax is an engineered protein subunit vaccine designed by scientists at the Baylore College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in the US and developed and produced by the Hyderabad-based Biological E. More than 68 million Corbevax doses have been administered to children across the country. Biological E has supplied 100 million Corbevax doses to the Centre.
Biological E had in May this year said Corbevax would be available to end-users at Rs 400 per dose at private centres, including taxes and administration charges. The Centre had last year given Rs 15,000 crore to Biological E to develop the vaccine.
Health secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a note sent to all states on August 8 said the required changes for the introduction of Corbevax as an option had already been made on Co-WIN, the digital platform for vaccine recipients, and “will be live from August 12”.