Zydus Cadila’s indigenously developed needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D was granted the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the drug regulator on Friday, making it the first vaccine to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country, the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) said. Describing the development as a momentous feat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country is fighting COVID-19 with full vigour.
Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D are the only two vaccine candidates to have been tested among children in India. It is the second home-grown shot to get emergency authorisation in India after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
Who can Take the Vaccine?
The vaccine is meant for adults and children aged 12 years and above. ZyCoV-D uses a section of genetic material from the Covid virus that gives instructions as either DNA or RNA to make the specific protein that the human immune system recognises and responds to, Reuters reported.
How many Doses?
ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine which produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The gap between the first and the second dose is 28 days while the third dose will be administered on 56th day.
Is it effective against Delta variant?
CDSCO said that ZyCoV-D showed an efficacy rate of 66.6 per cent in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers in the country.
Zydus Cadila, meanshile, has claimed that ZyCoV-D works against newer virus strains, including the highly infectious Delta variant. The “plug-and-play” technology on which the plasmid DNA platform is based can be easily adapted to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring, a report in DNA said.
Is it Needleless vaccine?
Zydus Cadila has said the vaccine is delivered via a "painless" intradermal applicator and added that it plans to seek approval for a two-dose regimen of the vaccine. This will majorly help in administering the vaccine to kids.
How to store the vaccine?
The vaccine is stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius and has shown good stability at temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius for at least three months.
When will it be available?
Zydus Cadila said it plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of ZyCoV-D annually. At a Union health ministry briefing on May 13, Member (Health), Niti Aayog, V K Paul had estimated that 216 crore vaccine doses would be available for people in the country between August and December. Of these, Zydus Cadila will provide five crore doses, he had said.