Texas Scientists Urge White House To Commit To Global Funding Of Non-Patented COVID-19 Vaccine


Photo by Biological E. Limited

Nearly 30 million children vaccinated to date in India and 100 million doses committed for Africa with billions still in need

HOUSTON, TX (April 26, 2022) – Texas Children’s Hospital announces nearly 30 million doses of CORBEVAX, a traditional, recombinant protein-based COVID-19 vaccine technology created and engineered by Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development specifically to combat the worldwide problem of vaccine access and availability, have been administered in children across India with second doses currently underway. Originally granted Emergency Use Authorization for distribution in India where more than 500,000 doses are distributed each day, the vaccine has been approved in Botswana, where more than 100 million doses have been procured, which could lead towards its administration in the African continent.

“Given that worldwide cases of COVID-19 are once again on the rise, federal support for the worldwide vaccination effort has never been more crucial,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and co-director, Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. “Public health, both in the United States and abroad, hinges on our government’s willingness to engage in meaningful vaccine diplomacy. This requires Congressional funding to support worldwide distribution of CORBEVAX, the only safe, effective, low-cost, easily scalable vaccine currently available in the world. Bi-partisan support exists for this effort and represents the only path to eradication of the COVID-19 virus.”

The need for a safe, streamlined, low-cost vaccine for middle to low-income countries is central to the world’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Without widespread inoculation of populations in the developing world, additional variants will develop, hindering the progress achieved by currently available vaccines in the United States and other Western countries.

CORBEVAX is presently being administered in India to children in the age group of 12-14 years. As India battles a surge in coronavirus cases, the Subject Expect Committee (SEC) of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) last week recommended emergency use in children in the age group of 5-11 years. The recommendation has now been sent to the DCGI, the agency to grant final approval.

CORBEVAX utilizes a reliable and conventional production platform – yeast fermentation to produce a recombinant protein - that has been in use for decades relying on open-source science to limit barriers to entry for manufacturers around the world. Because the vaccine relies on standard and long-term storage conditions, streamlined distribution is possible in many of world’s poorest, most remote locations and it may also help to close a troubling vaccine hesitancy gap. Its low cost, ease of production and distribution, safety, and acceptance make it well suited for addressing global vaccine inequity.

“The news of the approval in Botswana is a reaffirmation that the philosophy used by our Texas Children’s vaccine center, centered on open science, no patents and transparent collaborations, can lead to closing the inequity and access gap for COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi, professor and associate dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor and co-director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development.

“I was proud to have Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi testify in front of the Africa Subcommittee on the impressive efforts by Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development to vaccinate the world against COVID-19,” said Congressman Michael T. McCaul, Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs. “Their initiative to manufacture and license their CORBEVAX vaccine, invest in local vaccine manufacturing, and increase reliable vaccine supply is a shining example of private institutions, made possible by the generosity of the Texas community, having a positive impact in the world. This hearing underscores why we need more partnerships and resources towards global efforts to combat COVID-19.”

“CORBEVAX is making a meaningful impact in the global fight against COVID-19 in India and Botswana, and this vaccine has the potential to impact millions more people, especially the children around the world,” said Mark Wallace, President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Children’s Hospital. “Texas Children’s is prepared, ready, and willing to walk together with national and global leaders to vaccinate millions throughout our global community.”

About Texas Children’s Hospital

Texas Children’s Hospital, a not-for-profit health care organization, is committed to creating a healthier future for children and women throughout the global community by leading in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked as the best children’s hospital in Texas, and among the top in the nation, Texas Children’s has garnered widespread recognition for its expertise and breakthroughs in pediatric and women’s health. The hospital includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; the Feigin Tower for pediatric research; Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston; and Texas Children’s Hospital The Woodlands, the first hospital devoted to children’s care for communities north of Houston. The organization also created Texas Children’s HealthPlan, the nation’s first HMO for children; has the largest pediatric primary care network in the country, Texas Children’s Pediatrics; Texas Children’s Urgent Care clinics that specialize in after-hours care tailored specifically for children; and a global health program that’s channeling care to children and women all over the world. Texas Children’s Global Health program leads efforts that advance health care equity through innovative collaboration in care, education and research for underserved populations globally. Texas Children’s Hospital is affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. For more information, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news by visiting the online newsroom and Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

About Texas Children's Hospital Center For Vaccine Development

Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development is one of the leading vaccine development centers in the world. Established in Washington DC as the Sabin Vaccine Institute Product Development Partnership (PDP) in the year 2000 and after relocating to the Texas Medical Center in 2011, it rebranded as Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development. For the past two decades it has acquired an international reputation as a non-profit PDP, advancing vaccines for poverty-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and emerging infectious diseases of pandemic importance. In addition, it builds and strengthens capacity for vaccine development locally and with foreign nations and leads global efforts to guide and influence vaccine policy and advocacy through “vaccine diplomacy” as an international bridge for peace and vaccine development capacity.