New Delhi: The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved market authorisation to COVID-19 vaccine Covovax as a heterologous booster dose for adults who have been administered two doses of Covishield or Covaxin, official sources said on Monday.

The DCGI’s approval came following recommendation by the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

Prakash Kumar Singh, Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs at the Serum Institute of India (SII), had recently written to the DCGI for the approval of Covovax heterologous booster dose for those aged 18 years and above in view of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic situation in some countries, an official source had said.

“The Subject Expert Committee of the CDSCO on Wednesday deliberated on the issue and had recommended for market authorisation of Covid jab Covovax as a heterologous booster dose for adults who have been administered two doses of Covishield or Covaxin,” an official source said.

The DCGI had approved Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations in adults on December 28, 2021, in the 12-17 age group on March 9, 2022, and in children aged 7-11 years on June 28 last year subject to certain conditions.

Covovax is manufactured through technology transfer from Novavax. It has been approved by the European Medicines Agency for conditional marketing authorisation. It was granted emergency-use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 17, 2021.

In August 2020, US-based vaccine maker Novavax Inc. had announced a licence agreement with the SII for the development and commercialisation of NVX-CoV2373, its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India and low-and-middle-income countries.

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