GS Paper - 2 (Diseases)

Expanding India's vaccine basket, the Central Drug Authority has approved the Serum Institute of India's COVID-19 vaccine Covovax, Biological E's jab Corbevax and anti-Covid pill Molnupiravir for restricted use in emergency situations. The announcement by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on 28 December 2021 came a day after the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recommended granting emergency use authorisation (EUA) to the COVID-19 vaccines Covovax and Corbevax with certain conditions.

What

  1. With this approval, the number of Covid vaccines which have received emergency use authorisation in the country has increased to eight.
  2. Six COVID-19 vaccines -- Serum Institute's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D, Russia's Sputnik V and the US-made Moderna and Johnson and Johnson -- had already received EUA from the Indian drug regulator earlier.
  3. Corbevax vaccine is India's 1st indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID19, Made by Hyderabad-based firm Biological-E.
  4. The Nanoparticle Vaccine, Covovax, will be manufactured by Pune-based firm Serum Institute of India.
  5. Molnupiravir, an antiviral drug, will now be manufactured in the country by 13 companies for restricted use under emergency situations for treatment of adult patients with COVID-19 and who have high risk of progression of the disease.
  6. It also had recommended granting restricted emergency use approval to the drug Molnupiravir for treatment of adult patients with COVID-19 and who have high risk of progression of the disease.
  7. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had on 17 December 2021 issued emergency use listing for Covovax, expanding the basket of jabs validated by the global health body against the viral disease.