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All you need to know about India’s home-grown Corbevax vaccine for 12 to 18-year-old children

Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Biological E, has priced its Corbevax COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 18-year-old children at Rs 145 per dose for the government and plans to make 100 million doses a month as the inoculation drive began today.

Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Biological E, has priced its Corbevax COVID-19 vaccine for 12 to 18-year-old children at Rs 145 per dose for the government and plans to make 100 million doses a month as the inoculation drive began today.

Addressing the media, Mahima Datla, managing director of Biolgical (BE) said that by pricing the vaccine at Rs 145 per dose to the government, BE is saving Rs 1500 crore to the state exchequer. “It is the lowest price in the country and in the world,” Datla said.

The vaccine is being priced at Rs 800 (excluding GST) a dose for the private market. She added that the vaccine would be available for both children and adults in the private vaccination centers in a matter of days. However, BE  is not expecting much demand in the private market.

Biological E has plans to test the vaccine on children as young as six months of age eventually, and is now testing it as a booster shot after Covishield and Covaxin.

Jeevan Mudgala, senior vice president, domestic business, BE said that “The government vaccination programme is so easily accessible and available to everybody, and specifically for vaccines like these where they have taken the lead, our experience is that the private market will be limited.”

Corbevax is being billed as India's first homegrown "receptor-binding domain protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID-19". A receptor-binding domain is a key part of a virus located on its "spike" domain that allows it to dock to body receptors to enter and infect cells. These are also the primary targets in the prevention and treatment of viral infections.

Corbevax is the second COVID-19 vaccine for children and teens that has received emergency use authorisation in India.

Till now India has been administering Bharat Biotech's Covaxin to teens between 15 and 18 years old since January 3.

The EUA (emergency use authorisation) for Corbevax's among adults was cleared by the regulator Drugs Controller General of India in December 2019.

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