With the rise in Covid cases, India has added two new vaccines to its bag, making it a total of 8 drugs issued in wake of Covid. As the country is battling Omicron cases, CDSCO, the drug regulator organization of India has approved two more coronavirus vaccines, Corbevax and Covovax, and an oral antiviral drug Molnupiravir for restricted use in case of emergencies.
The other six COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in India are :
1. Serum Institute’s Covishield
The Covishield, manufactured by ‘Oxford and AstraZeneca’ is made from a weakening and inactivation of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look like a coronavirus but it can’t cause illness due to being inactive.
2. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin
Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech is an inactivated vaccine. It is made up of killed coronaviruses, making it safe to be injected into the body. It is a vaccine developed by an Indian company making it India’s self-manufactured vaccine.
3. Russia-made Sputnik V
It is composed of a cold-type virus that is genetically modified and engineered to be harmless. It acts as a carrier or a plasmid to deliver a small fragment of the coronavirus to the body. After being vaccinated, the body starts to produce antibodies especially made for the virus. It is based on the biotechnological use of plasmids for generating antibodies.
4. Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D
The Zydus’s developed ZyCoV vaccine uses plasmids – or small rings of DNA that contain genetic information – to deliver the injection between two layers of the skin.
The three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine when tried on different patients prevented symptomatic disease in 66% of those vaccinated, according to an interim study carried out by the vaccine maker Cadila Healthcare themselves.
It is India’s first needle-free Covid-19 injection -It is injected with a disposable needle-free injector. It uses a narrow stream of fluid to penetrate the skin deeply and deliver the injection to the proper tissue.
5. US-manufactured Moderna
6. Johnson and Johnson vaccine
The new addition to these vaccines is Covovax and Corbevax and an oral pill, Molnupiravir.
Covovax: It is a COVID vaccine designed by ‘ Serum Institute of India.’ Covovax is a protein subunit of the vaccine. It is developed under license and collaboration from American biotechnology company Novavax, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). Recently, this vaccine has received emergency use approval from the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the 9th COVID-19 vaccine to get WHO’s approval for emergency use.
Corbevax: Corbevax is a protein subunit vaccine that is developed by Hyderabad’s pharmaceutical company Biological E, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, U.S., and Dynavax Technologies. It is made by isolating a piece of the actual virus. These pieces are expected to trigger an immune response that, hopefully, will stymie future infection. This vaccine is relatively safer than inactivated whole-virus because it would prevent triggering side effects as many other parts of the virus might also be exposed to the immune system of the person.
Molnupiravir: Molnupiravir, developed by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, has been approved in India by DCGI for EUA ( Emergency Use Authorisation). It is India’s first oral pill to be used against COVID under emergency use. It is launched by Mankind Pharma that has been tied up for its production with BDR Pharmaceuticals. The full treatment of Molulife ( brand name of Molnupiravir, designed by Mankind Pharma) is said to cost Rs 1400. This drug is approved to be used in adult patients showing severe symptoms of Covid 19 who are at great risk. The recommended dose of Molnupiravir is 800 mg that has to be taken twice a day for five days. A patient needs to take 40 capsules containing 200 mg of medication.
Adding to the competition in the pharmaceutical market, Dr. Reddy’s on Tuesday has come up with the launch of Molflu ( brand name of Dr. Reddy’s Molnupiravir) that is said to cost Rs 35 per capsule making the full treatment approximately Rs 1400 that is almost equal to Mankind Pharma.
A total of 13 companies in India will make Molnupiravir namely Torrent, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy`s, Natco, Mylan, and Hetero, etc will be manufacturing the generic dosage of Molnupiravir under their brand names shortly.
These vaccines are highly anticipated in the market as the country is bracing to fight the third wave of SARS COV 2.