Novavax, the United States-based vaccine manufacturer, has announced the data findings of its COVID19 vaccine which is named as NVX-CoV2373. Serum Institute, a partner of Novavax, will manufacture this vaccine in India by the name Covovax. More details here.
If approved by the USFDA, the Novavax vaccine would become the fourth approved vaccine for emergency use in the United States. Photo: GAVI
The American vaccine manufacturer Novavax is expecting to get approval of the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) by October this year after it tested the efficacy of its COVID19 vaccine named ‘NVX-CoV2373’ on June 14. The pharmaceutical company claimed that the vaccine showed an overall efficacy of 90.4 per cent.
The launch of NVX-CoV2373 holds significance for India as the American vaccine manufacturer is a partner of the Pune-based pharmaceutical company Serum Institute of India which has launched the Covishield vaccine.
If approved by the USFDA, the Novavax vaccine would become the fourth approved vaccine for emergency use in the United States.
The US currently vaccinates its citizens with three COVID19 vaccines: Pfizer–BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson.
As the US has been reported to have enough stocks of the COVID19 vaccines to vaccinate its entire population, Novavax has stated that it shall prioritise delivering its vaccines to the developing countries like India which are reportedly facing a shortage of COVID19 vaccines.
“It should be noted… that, given that we’ve got a commitment of 1.1 billion doses with COVAX along with our partner Serum Institute (of India), a lot of our first doses are going to go into low- and middle-income countries, as they should,” CEO Stanley C Erck was quoted as saying after announcing the vaccine’s performance in phase 3 trials in the United States and Mexico.
In collaboration with the Maryland-based Novavax, Adar Poonawalla-led Serum Institute will manufacture the vaccine by the name Covovax.
It is reported that the Union government has already estimated about 200 million of Covovax doses to be procured from the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer by December 2021.
On May 28, Prakash Javadekar had announced that India would vaccinate its entire eligible population by the end of this December.
Covovax vaccine would be vital in India’s further vaccination programme as and it is estimated that the country needs around 1.9 billion vaccine doses to inoculate its entire adult population that is numbered at around 950 million persons.
The Novavax press release informs that NVX-CoV2373 is a protein-based vaccine candidate engineered from the genetic sequence of the first strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease.
“NVX-CoV2373 contains purified protein antigen and can neither replicate, nor can it cause COVID-19. In preclinical studies, NVX-CoV2373 induced antibodies that blocked the binding of spike protein to cellular receptors and provided protection from infection and disease,” the statement mentioned.
“It was generally well-tolerated and elicited robust antibody response in Phase 1/2 clinical testing,” it added.
Meanwhile, in its article on the production of subunit vaccines, the World Health Organization (WHO) explained that a subunit vaccine is one that only uses the very specific parts (the subunits) of a virus or that the immune system needs to recognise.
The subunits may be proteins or sugars. In the case of Novavax, it’s a subunit protein.
Most of the vaccines on the childhood vaccination programs are subunit vaccines, protecting people from diseases such as whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria and meningococcal meningitis, WHO stated.