CORBEVAX, COVOVAX Covid-19 vaccines get emergency use approval, antiviral Covid pill also approved

The molnupiravir antiviral Covid-19 drug received emergency use approval from US FDA for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in adults who are at risk for severe disease. 

 CORBEVAX, COVOVAX gets emergency use approval
CORBEVAX, COVOVAX gets emergency use approval

Two new Covid-19 vaccines: India has got two new COVID-19 vaccines-Covovax & Corbevax - after they received emergency use authorisation from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). The organisation has also given approval to the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted, "Congratulations India! Further strengthening the fight against COVID-19, cdsco, @MoHFW_INDIA has given 3 approvals in a single day for CORBEVAX vaccine, COVOVAX vaccine and anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for restricted use in emergency situation."

About India's two new Covid-19 vaccines

CORBEVAX Covid vaccine

CORBEVAX is India's first indigenously developed RBD protein sub-unit vaccine against COVID-19. It will be manufactured by Hyderabad-based firm Biological-E. The company had submitted the data from its clinical trials to the Indian drug regulator. 

CORBEVAX is the third vaccine developed in India after Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and SII's Covishield. The Centre has already made an advance booking to procure 300 million doses of the vaccine at a cost of Rs 1,500 crore.

COVOVAX Covid vaccine

Covovax is the recombinant nanoparticle protein-based Covid-19 vaccine developed by US drug manufacturer Novavax. It will be manufacured in India by Pune-based Serum Institute of India. 

The vaccine has already received emergency use approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO). It also received emergency use approval in the Philippines. 

Molnupiravir antiviral Covid-19 drug

The molnupiravir antiviral Covid-19 drug has been developed by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. The drug works by introducing errors into the SARS-CoV-2 virus' genetic code, which will prevent the virus from replicating further. Ridgeback has developed the Covid pill in collaboration with Merck, a US pharma company.

The clinical trial of the antiviral Covid drug on high risk people during the early onset of the infection showed at least 30 percent reduction in hospitalisations and deaths. 

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories along with other pharma majors in India- Cipla, Mylan, Torrent, Emcure and Sun Pharma had tabled the proposal for approval of the anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for emergency use in the country. 

The drug recently received a go ahead from US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases in adults who are at risk for severe disease. The United Kingdom had also granted conditional authorisation to the drug in November 2021. 

It is the first pill that has so far shown success in treating COVID-19. 

The antiviral Covid-19 drug will be manufactured in the country by 13 companies. Merck & Co. has signed voluntary licensing agreements with several Indian pharma majors including Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Cipla, Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Hetero Labs Ltd and Sun Pharma for the manufacture and marketing of the drug in India.

How does the antiviral Covid-19 drug work?

The antiviral drug is administered to stop the COVID-19 virus from replicating and causing severe illness in a person. It is advised to be given at the early stage of the infection. 

Dosage- The molnupiravir antiviral Covid-19 drug is administered as four 200 milligram capsules orally every 12 hours for five days. It is not authorised for use longer than five consecutive days.

COVID vaccines in India

With the two new vaccines getting the emergency use approval, a total of eight COVID vaccines have received emergency use authorisation in India. 

The six other vaccines include Serum Institute's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russia's Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D. 


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