India Clears 2 New Vaccines And Merck’s Covid Pill: 10 Points

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India Clears 2 New Vaccines And Merck's Covid Pill: 10 Points

Corbevax and Covovax, and anti-viral drug Molnupiravir can be used only in emergency

New Delhi: The centre cleared two more vaccines today and one anti-viral drug to boost the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The two latest vaccines cleared by India are Corbevax and Covovax. The anti-viral drug Molnupiravir can be used during emergency.

  1. Corbevax is India’s first homegrown “RBD protein sub-unit vaccine”, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted this morning. It is made by the Hyderabad-based firm Biological-E.

  2. “It’s a hat-trick! It’s now third vaccine developed in India,” Mr Mandaviya said. The other two vaccines developed in India are Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and the Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield.

  3. The nanoparticle vaccine, Covovax, will be manufactured by the Pune-based SII.

  4. The anti-viral drug Molnupiravir will be manufactured in India by 13 companies for restricted use under emergency situation to treat adult patients with COVID-19 and who have high risk of progression of the disease, the Health Minister said.

  5. With the latest approvals, a total of eight COVID-19 vaccines have got emergency use authorisation from India’s drug regulator – Covishield, Covaxin, ZyCoV-D, Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, Corbevax and Covovax.

  6. Dr Reddy’s Laboratories in a consortium with Cipla, Mylan, Torrent, Emcure and Sun Pharma had presented their proposal for approval of anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for emergency situation.

  7. The US Food and Drug Administration recently allowed Merck’s Molnupiravir for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in adults who are at risk for severe disease. Before that in November, Britain granted conditional authorisation to Merck’s coronavirus antiviral, the first pill shown to successfully treat COVID-19.

  8. In a clinical trial of high-risk people during the early course of illness, Merck’s drug was shown to reduce hospitalisations and deaths by around 30 per cent.

  9. India will start administering COVID-19 booster shots to healthcare, frontline workers and those above 60 with comorbidities from January 10. Those aged 15-18 would start receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations from January 3.

  10. The emergence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant has put the world in a renewed battle against COVID-19. In India, Delhi and other states have announced night curfew around this time to prevent crowding at public places during the New Year.

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