Among the two vaccines approved today, by India’s drug regulatory body are Corbevax and Covovax. The latter is actually Novovax but is manufactured under different names in the two facilities. In Europe, it is known as the Nuvaxovid vaccine, while in India, it is Covovax, and is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). 

What is the recommended dosage for Covovax? 

Research indicates that the vaccine should be administered intramuscularly, in two doses of 0.5ml each. Ideally, a gap of 3-4 weeks between the doses is recommended. 

How effective is Covovax against omicron? 

Covovax has undergone the necessary trials, and studies have shown that it has a 90% effectiveness against mild, moderate, as well as severe forms of the disease. 

The trial process has included the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants, but the approval came through from WHO based on the prioritization roadmap. Thus, the vaccine hasn’t been tested against the recently emergent omicron variant.

Is Covovax safe for children? 

Adar Poonawalla, the CEO of SII, has stated that the vaccine has shown promise during trials, and should be safe for children down to three years. However, WHO has urged caution, stating that immunogenicity and safety data is still being processed, and as such time as we do not have clear indications, the vaccine should be administered to those who are 18 or older. 

Can pregnant women take Covovax? 

WHO research data shows that this protein-based vaccine has similar rates of effectiveness, as compared to other vaccines. Further, studies have shown that the risks of pregnant women not taking the vaccine and being infected with the coronavirus are far higher than any possible risks associated with getting the dose during pregnancy. 

Also Read | Complete list of COVID vaccines and treatments approved in India

Who shouldn’t take Covovax? 

Those who have a history of anaphylaxis to any of the vaccine components should avoid it. If anyone has extreme PCR-confirmed COVID-19, they should wait to recover, before taking the vaccine. Those who have fevers with temperatures over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, should wait for it to subside, before taking the dose. 

Can Covovax be mixed with other vaccines? 

At this moment there is limited evidence of how Covovax will react with other vaccines. Notably, in India, there have been reports from the medical community, about individuals trying out ‘vaccine cocktails’, that is, a mixture of different vaccines. 

Can Covovax be used as a booster? 

Field experts including members of the Indian government’s agency that monitors genome sequencing have deemed Covovax is safe to use as a booster dose, since it has displayed a very strong immunity response, and has proven itself reliable during the trials.