A new Baylor vaccine could get approval overseas this year, says Dr. Peter Hotez – Houston Public Media

Dr. Peter Hotez takes his seat before First Lady Jill Biden speaks about COVID-19 pediatric vaccines in Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

Hear the whole conversation with Dr. Peter Hotez.

A COVID-19 vaccine developed at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital could soon be marketed in India.

Corbevax or BioE COVID-19 is currently being developed in India with the aim of vaccinating other low and middle income countries around the world.

After nearly 10 years of research and funding obstacles in 2020, it could be ready for delivery this month, according to Dr. Peter Hotez, co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development and dean of Baylor’s National School of Tropical Medicine.

“It’s never a deal until it’s a deal,” Hotez said. “But all systems go this far, and I think it could be very soon, and I’m optimistic about the end of the year.”

Hotez said the vaccine is cheap and unpatented, making it easier for producers outside of India to mass produce.

The process of fully funding the vaccine stalled last year while other projects were funded from the Trump administration’s accelerated COVID-19 vaccination program, also known as Operation Warp Speed.

“The difficult thing for me was that we had to raise money for it because at the time Operation WARP speed was a simple permanent vaccine for low and middle income countries. It was all about speed and innovation, ”Hotez said.

However, when the vaccine is eventually approved for an emergency, it will only be marketed in India. The ultimate goal is to get doses to largely unvaccinated countries to prevent future worrying variants from forming.

At the peak of the virus in May, India was recording more than 400,000 COVID-19 cases per day. The country has seen more than 34 million cases since the pandemic began – second only to the United States with more than 49 million. according to tracking data from the New York Times. The country is only 35% fully vaccinated.

Despite difficulties with funding, Hotez says the project has now raised approximately $ 7 million through various philanthropic groups in Houston and across Texas to support his team’s efforts.

However, he also said that he believed the picture of the pandemic would be very different now if their work had been carried forward earlier.

“If we had a fraction of the help that Moderna or Pfizer got from the US government or the G7, I think the world could have been vaccinated by now and we would never have a discussion about the Omicron variant.” “Said Hotez.

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