Serum Institute manufactures first batch of Covovax, says Adar Poonawalla


Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla on June 25, 2021, said that the first batch of COVOVAX vaccine is being manufactured this week at the Pune facility of SII.

COVOVAX is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Novavax Inc.

Poonawalla in a tweet said that COVOVAX has great potential at offering protection to our future generations below the age of 18. Trials are underway.

Novavax Inc in August 2020 had signed a license agreement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to develop and manufacture NVX-CoV2373, Novovax’s COVID-19 vaccine as COVOVAX vaccine for India and other middle-income and lower-income countries.

Poonawalla in March 2021 had informed that the clinical trials for COVOVAX vaccine are underway in India and the vaccine will be launched by September 2021.

The Serum Institute of India in January 2021 had rolled out COVISHIELD vaccine in the country for which it had partnered with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca for manufacturing the vaccine.

What is COVOVAX vaccine?

• COVOVAX vaccine is the protein-based COVID-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373 that has been developed by Novovax Inc, a US-based biotechnology company.

• The vaccine is being manufactured as COVOVAX in India under the license agreement between Novavax and SII.

How does COVOVAX work on coronavirus?

• COVOVAX, a protein-based COVID-19 vaccine targets the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 that enables the virus to enter the human cells.

• Novavax developed the vaccine by making copies of the spike protein in labs with the use of the cells of a moth.

• After being administered with the vaccine, the body recognizes the copies of spike protein in the vaccine and builds up immunity response so that when or if the body is exposed to the actual virus, it can generate the same immunity response.

What is the efficacy of COVOVAX?

• Novovax in March 2021 had stated that NVX-CoV2373 showed an efficacy of 96.4 per cent against mild, moderate, and severe infection caused by the original strain of COVID-19 during its Phase 3 trials.

COVOVAX against variants of coronavirus

• In the case of variants, Novavax’s vaccine, NVX-CoV2373 had shown 86.3 per cent against the Alpha variant (also known as B.1.1.7) found in the UK.




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