In a boost for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) has begun the advanced production of United States (US)-based pharmaceutical major Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine at its facility, CNBC TV18.
Novovax's NVX-CoV2373 is a recombinant nanoparticle protein-based vaccine that has been branded by SII as Covovax for the Indian market. Other than this, SII has already been mass-producing AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in India under the brand name of Covishield.
Covovax generates antigen derived from the coronavirus spike protein, similar to the technology used to develop vaccines for hepatitis and influenza, among others.
Tweeting about the development, SII's chief executive Adar Poonawalla exuded confidence that Covovax has "great potential" to protect future generations below the age of 18 years. He added that the vaccine is still undergoing trials in India.
The said vaccine can be stored in standard refrigerators which make it suitable for distribution in India. The Government is expecting approximately 20 crore doses of the vaccine to be made available by SII between August and December.