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Vaccine developed in Houston could help the world fight COVID

Dr. Peter Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi helped lead the local effort, which is designed to get vaccines into underserved countries.

HOUSTON — A vaccine technology that was created at Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine could go a long way toward bringing the global COVID-19 pandemic to an end.

According to a release sent out Tuesday morning, the vaccine -- CORBEVAX -- has been given emergency use authorization from the Drugs Controller General of India.  It's expected to roll out in India and then be made available in other underserved countries after that.

“if you’re talking about a serious effort to vaccinate the world and prevent new variants from emerging – we think we’re now going to make a very important contribution”," said Dr. Peter Hotez, who helped develop the vaccine.

The CORBEVAX vaccine technology was developed at the Texas Children's Hospital’s Center for Vaccine Development, led by Dr. Hotez and Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi. It enables the vaccine to be mass produced. 

“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,” said Dr. Hotez in the release.

As for how big of a deal this vaccine is?  That's the question KHOU 11 reporter Jason Miles asked Dr. Hotez and Dr. Bottazzi during a virtual news conference Tuesday.  

“As you know, everything is bigger in Texas – so that, you know, makes it a bigger deal,' said Dr. Bottazzi.”

You can hear more of their answers in the video below. 

TCH says the vaccine has been through Phase III clinical trials with more than 3,000 subjects and was found to be safe and well-tolerated.