Those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010, i.e. those over the age of 12, will be eligible for their Covid-19 vaccines from March 16, the Union minister said.

The center is expanding its universal vaccination program against Covid-19 from Wednesday to children between the ages of 12 and 14. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has tweeted. “When children are safe, the country is safe. I am very happy to announce that from March 16, children in the age group of 12-14 years can be vaccinated against Covid.” Vaccination for children in the 15-18 age group started in January.

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Those born in 2008, 2009 and 2010, i.e. those over the age of 12, will be eligible for their Covid-19 vaccines from March 16, the Union minister said.

What vaccines will be used for this age group?

Corbevax, manufactured by Biological-E of Hyderabad, will be administered to children in this age group.

Corbevax is India’s first domestically developed Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) protein subunit vaccine. Corbevax received emergency use approval from the Indian Medicines Regulatory Agency for the 12-18 age group on Feb.

What technology is Corbevax built on?

Corbevax uses a recombinant protein platform, which is not currently used by any other vaccine distributed in the country. It targets the spike protein on the surface of the virus particle, and instead of instructing cells to replicate them, the vaccine injects a small amount of cloned spike protein grown in a lab.

Instead of the whole virus, the platform triggers an immune response by using fragments of it, such as the spike protein. Once the human body recognizes the harmless S protein, it makes antibodies to fight it

The vaccine showed “superior immune response compared to Covishield, against the ancestral Wuhan strain and the globally dominant Delta strain,” according to the statement from Biological E. Its effectiveness against the Omicron strain is being assessed.

Affordability and Dosage of Corbevax

Corbevax may be the cheapest vaccine available in India. It is expected to be priced below Rs 400 for two doses. A single dose of Covishield costs about Rs 300-400, while the Russian vaccine Sputnik V costs about Rs 1,000. It costs about Rs 1,400 for two doses of Covaxin.

Corbevax vaccine like other Covid vaccines are administered intramuscularly. The second dose is given with an interval of 28 days after the first dose. Corbevax is available in 0.5 ml (single dose) and 5 ml (ten doses) vials. It is stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

It can be kept at 2-8 degrees Celsius, which is most suitable for the requirements of India.

Overall, India’s Covid immunization campaign has delivered 97.89 crore first doses and 81.37 crore second doses to all age groups since January last year.

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