The coronavirus pandemic has engulfed the whole world and millions of people have lost their lives in this epidemic in many countries including India. However, after all the efforts, many vaccines have also come for its prevention and efforts are on to rein in the corona through the vaccination program. Many countries of the world including India are running vaccination programs and efforts are being made to make a large number of population corona-free.
Vaccination has proved to be a more effective way to prevent people from developing a severe form of Kovid. Vaccines can be given to a large number of people to prevent this epidemic, however, this cannot be done in the case of antiviral drugs. Vaccines also go a long way in reducing the risk of people getting infected with corona and spreading its virus.
At present, many vaccines are available globally, for which billions of doses have been given. However, rich countries have captured a large portion of the vaccine and this is the reason why only half the world has received at least one dose of the Kovid vaccine. So it is better to have some other vaccine – such as Novavax, which is expected to be available soon to improve the supply.
How different is this comment
Novavax is a protein subunit vaccine, and therefore the mRNA vaccine, developed by Moderna and Pfizer, differs from the viral-vector vaccines made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, and the inactivated-virus vaccines made by Sinovac and Sinopharm. An important part of the protein subunit vaccines is what they protect against. When a real virus is encountered in the future, the immune system has defenses that are trained to attack these external parts of the virus and destroy it quickly.
Spike proteins – These are intricately formed within insect cells. The protein is then purified and added to an adjuvant component that enhances the immune response. The auxiliary ingredient used in this process is made from the extract of a tree. The same system has been used in teams designed for papillomavirus and hepatitis B. Both are safe and effective.
In the Phase III trial (the final phase of the trial in humans) it was 90% protective against developing symptomatic COVID, with no serious cases of the disease reported in those taking the vaccine. These analyzes pitted the vaccine against alpha and beta variants, but not against delta. However, a press release regarding a trial examining the use of Novavax as a booster suggests that it is highly effective in generating antibodies against Delta.
What will be the effect of this?
Novavax received emergency use approval in Indonesia and the Philippines and has completed submission formalities for regulatory approval from the UK, the EU regulator, Canada, and the WHO. Submission formalities are expected to be completed soon in other countries including New Zealand and the US. At the moment, most wealthy countries have sufficient stock of existing vaccines, which means they can meet the demand for immediate vaccinations and boosters.
The Novavax vaccine also only needs to be refrigerated rather than frozen for storage, making it attractive to low-income countries. Yet to reach these countries it would need to be distributed through Covax, a global vaccine-sharing scheme.
At the same time, there is concern that rich countries will buy most of the supplements, regardless of their need. For example, the UK has 60 million doses and has inked deals with the US and the European Union for 100 million and 200 million vaccines, respectively. It is unlikely that these countries will have a real need for vaccines in such quantities. As such, the global distribution of available supplies has to be improved.
The manufacturing process of the drugmaker is said to be in question, raising doubts about its ability to produce the vaccine in large quantities. India, however, can come to the rescue here. Serum Institute of India will make the Novavax supplements that will be supplied to Indonesia, and it has already ramped up production of other vaccines licensed for production. According to a claim, the institute is producing 24 crore doses of Kovid vaccines every month.
Novavax looks like a very useful product, approved by WHO, and could help with disease prevention once supplies become available. Other countries are eyeing the WHO’s decision-making and vaccine performance in Indonesia-Philippines with great curiosity.