India Approves Texas’ Low-Cost Vaccine

HOUSTON: India’s government has approved emergency use of a low-cost vaccine developed in Texas.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Peter Hotez – dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor Houston: College of Medicine – shared the news of his new vaccine being approved by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

Hotez, along with Baylor professor Maria Elena Bottazzi, developed the vaccine called Corbevax at the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), where they are co-directors.

Corbevax, dubbed as “The World’s COVID-19 Vaccine”, uses a traditional recombinant protein-based technology that enables its production at larger scales, making it widely accessible for the global population.

The new vaccine was licensed through the Baylor College of Medicine to one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, Biological E.

“This announcement is an important first step in vaccinating the world and halting the pandemic. Our vaccine technology offers a path to address an unfolding humanitarian crisis, namely the vulnerability the low- and middle-income countries face against the delta variant,” Hotez said in a statement.

Hotez added that the Texas Children’s center does not plan to make a profit on the new vaccine, calling it “a gift to the world,” noting that the center will transfer the vaccine to producers in India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Botswana.

“This was an effort of a team of 20+ scientists @TexasChildrens @BCM_TropMed co-led by me and my brilliant science partner for the last 20 years @mebottazzi,” Hotez said in a tweet.

This comes as most of the world is currently dealing with a winter surge of COVID-19 infections due to the highly transmissible omicron variant.

In a statement, Biological E. said it plans to manufacture 75 million doses a month, anticipating more than 100 million doses per month by February 2022.

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke (D) praised the news on Twitter Tuesday.

“Congratulations to @PeterHotez and his team at Texas Children’s Hospital. They’ve developed an affordable Covid vaccine that will save lives in low income countries. Making Texas proud!”