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New COVID-19 vaccine enters third phase of trial in India

The goal is to get the Texas Children’s/Baylor College of Medicine/Biological E. Limited vaccine approved for use by the end of the summer.

HOUSTON — A COVID-19 vaccine developed by Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital just began Phase III clinical trials in India.

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Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi says the two-dose vaccine is being made in collaboration with Biological E. Limited in India.

The vaccine uses more traditional technology, modeled after the hepatitis B vaccine. It’s also cheap to produce, only costing $1.50 per dose.

“They’ll make it available in enormous quantities that can be used in a lot of countries that are struggling to get vaccines,” said Dr. Bottazzi, associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director of the Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

In the United States, the supply of COVID-19 vaccines is no longer the issue, demand is. However, it’s a very different story in low and middle-income countries where the need for vaccines is urgent.

“India needs it, but India is a reflection of how many other countries are in the same situation,” Bottazzi said.

She said the goal is to get the Texas Children’s/Baylor/Bio E. vaccine approved for use by the end of the summer.