The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved Biological E Ltd (BE)’s COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax as a booster for adults, age 18 and above, the pharmaceutical firm announced on Saturday. 

Corbevax is the third booster shot to be approved in India after Covishield and Covaxin. It has now become the first vaccine approved as a heterologous coronavirus booster dose. 

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Double vaccinated adults in India can take the Biological E product as their third or booster shot. It can be given six months after the administration of the second vaccine dose. 

The company has priced Corbevax at Rs 250 per dose. Biological E had said the it had reduced the price of the dose from Rs 840 to Rs 250, inclusive of GST, for private vaccination centres.

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“We are very happy with this approval, which will address the need for Covid-19 booster doses in India. We have crossed yet another milestone in our Covid-19 vaccination journey. This approval reflects once again the sustained world class safety standards and high immunogenicity of Corbevax,” Mahima Datla, Managing Director of Biological E Ltd, said. 

Corbevax was launched in March for the 12-14 age group. BE had collaborated with Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in the development of the vaccine.

It is a “recombinant protein sub-unit” vaccine made from the receptor biding domain (RBD) of the virus’s surface spike protein and Dynavax’s CpG 1018 adjuvant with alum, which aids the body’s immune reaction against the virus.

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After Corbevax’s launch, Biological E Managing Director Mahima Datla had said that affordability was one of the key goals they worked for. It was priced at Rs 145 for the government’s vaccination programme.

Corbevax had in December had completed two phase III clinical trials involving over 3000 patients ranging in age from 18 to 80 years old across 33 study sites in India. It was discovered that the vaccination was safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic.