India approves use of two new vaccines, anti-covid pill

New Delhi, Dec. 28 (EFE).- India approved Tuesday the emergency use of the Covovax vaccine, from the US laboratory Novavax, and the indigenous Corbevax, as well as the Molnupiravivir pill, by the American pharmaceutical firm Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), in its efforts to fight Covid-19.

These new vaccines join the list of five others already in use in the Asian country amid a surge in cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Covovax will be produced in the country by the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that for “further strengthening the fight against COVID-19” the authorities had approved – Corbevax and Covovax vaccines, and the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for “restricted use in emergency situation.”

The Covovax vaccine will be manufactured by SII, the world’s largest producer of vaccines in terms of volume, which also produces the vaccine developed by University of Oxford and the AstraZeneca laboratory, marketed in the country under the name of Covishield.

Corbevax is India’s first “indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine,” and the third one produced in India after Covishield and Covaxin, developed by the Indian laboratory Bharat Biotech and the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), according to the minister.

The antiviral drug Molnupiravir is the first oral treatment approved in India and will be used for adult patients with Covid-19 who have a high risk of disease progression.

These vaccines thus join Covaxin, Covishield, the Russian formula Sputnik V, and the US vaccines Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, in the country’s immunization campaign that began in January and is seen by the Indian authorities as the only hope to eradicate the virus.

So far, India has administered more than 1.4 billion doses of the vaccine, 7.2 million in the last 24 hours.

However only 58 million people of its 1.35 billion population have received both doses.

The Asian country is now trying to contain the spread of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, although the overall rates of infection remain low. EFE


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