India’s vaccination drive is about to get another push as its largest vaccine manufacturer said Wednesday that it hopes to launch Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covovax’ in India by September as its trials are in an advanced stage of completion.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla told CNBC-TV18 that the trial of Novavax’s coronavirus vaccine in India is likely to conclude by November. However, as per the latest guidelines by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the company can still apply for licensure of the vaccine before completion of the trial on the basis of global test results.
Novavax had created flutters earlier this week as it exhibited a 90.4 percent overall efficacy in Phase 3 clinical trials. That puts it in the same bracket as two of the frontline vaccines being used in the US and European countries, the ones produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which had efficacy rates of 91.3 percent and 90 percent in Phase 3 trials, respectively.
The Novavax jab’s efficacy rate is also substantially higher than the Covishield (76 percent in US trials) and the Covaxin (81 percent) vaccines that are being used in India’s inoculation drive. The third vaccine currently cleared for use in India, the Russian-made Sputnik V, has an almost similar efficacy rate of 91.6 percent.