New Houston-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate could be an option for low-income countries.
While the COVID-19 vaccine supply has exceeded its demand in the US, nations across the globe are frantically seeking additional vaccine doses.
Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi and Dr. Peter Hotez have been working together alongside Hyderabad, India-based Biological E. Limited (BE), Texas Children’s Hospital, and Baylor College of Medicine to produce a vaccine more accessible to these low-income countries.
The issue with the current vaccines remains to be the cost, storage, and speed of manufacturing.
The vaccine, with a similar design to the Hepatitis B vaccine, utilizes yeast to mimic the proteins of the virus in order to combat it.
The India-based vaccine, newly named Corbevax, is currently in Phase III of testing and due to its similar design to other established vaccines, is safer for younger children and pregnant women and has been found to have fewer side effects. The cost per dose averages about $1.90.
Additionally, Corbevax does not require “ultra-freezing” storage, but rather simply needs basic refrigeration, making this dose of the vaccine more easily transported.
With nations across the globe struggling to maintain vaccination rates – such as India, with only 2 percent of the population fully vaccinated – a vaccine that is easily accessible is desperately needed.