A new COVID-19 vaccine developed by a team of researchers from Texas will start distribution to India. The Indian government granted an emergency use authorization to the vaccine manufactured by Hyderabad-based company Biological E.
The company has ambitious plans to produce more than 1 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022 and they won’t personally get any money from it. The employer Baylor College will get a fee.
This vaccine has a lower cost because it uses an older recombinant protein technology that more manufacturers already have experience with, compared with other new technologies like mRNA vaccines.
The vaccine is made using microbial fermentation in yeast, similar to the process used to produce other vaccines, like the hepatitis B vaccine.
The company is also talking to other manufactures around the world and have consulted with the World Health Organization to see how they can share the vaccine globally. If everything goes to plan, manufacturers all around the world could produce their own versions of the Texas Children’s Hospital vaccine.
“Texas Children’s Hospital’s commitment to sharing technology is a challenge to the pharma giants and the false narrative that vaccine production and medical innovation thrive through secrecy and exclusivity,” said Peter Maybarduk, director of the advocacy group Public Citizen in an interview with The Washington Post. “If Texas Children’s Hospital can do it, why can’t Pfizer and Moderna?”
According to The Washington Post, the vaccine was developed with minimal help from the U.S. government and was mostly financed by private investors.
The vaccine has completed two Phase 3 clinical trials involving more than 3,000 people across India, with one of them finding an effectiveness of more than 80% against symptomatic disease.
Media from India has reported that the price per dose may be as low as $2.50 U.S. dollars, which would make the vaccine the cheapest vaccine in the world.
Adam Taylor (2021, Dec 30). A new coronavirus vaccine heading to India was developed by a small team in Texas. It expects nothing in return. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: