India could soon allow a Covid vaccine as a booster shot different from the primary jab. The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), government’s advisory group, will review data of Biological E’s Covid vaccine Corbevax as a booster dose for those adults who have received both doses of either Covishield or Covaxin.
The meeting is likely to happen at the end of this month, people in the know told ET.
India’s drug regulator on Saturday granted approval to Hyderabad-based Biological E’s Covid-19 vaccine Corbevax to be allowed as a booster dose for adults who have received both doses of either Covishield or Covaxin.
Corbevax is India’s first vaccine approved as a heterologous Covid-19 booster.
The vaccine can be administered after 6 months of administration of primary vaccination (two doses) of Covaxin or Covishield vaccines for restricted use in emergency, the company said in a statement.
However, to be used as a booster in the immunisation programme, the NTAGI will have to review the data and greenlight it.
“The experts at NTAGI will review the data in its meeting to be held at the end of this month. It will give its recommendations to the government for its use in the national immunisation programme after which the government will take the final decision and add it in the immunisation programme,” the person said. At present the precaution dose being given is of the same Covid-19 vaccine used for administering the first and second doses.
According to the company, BE’s clinical trial data showed that Corbevax booster dose provided “significant enhancement” in immune response and “excellent safety profile” required for an effective booster.
The company said the booster shot was “well tolerated” and “safe”. It conducted the study on 416 subjects aged 18 to 80 who took the second jab at least six month ago.
“The booster dose of Corbevax increased the neutralizing antibody titers in the Covishield and Covaxin groups significantly when compared to placebo,” the company said in its earlier statement.
“The Corbevax booster shot resulted in a significant increase in the nAb titers against the Omicron variant. After the booster dose of Corbevax, Omicron nAbs were observed in 91% and 75% of subjects who had received primary vaccination by Covishield and Covaxin, respectively,” it further said. There were no severe or adverse events of interest for 3 months of follow-up after the booster dose was administered,” the company said.
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