Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D shot to soon join other vaccines in India’s Covid fight, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Zydus Cadila's ZyCov-D shot to soon join other vaccines in India's Covid fightThe government has started the preparatory work to include Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D in the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The vaccine is likely to be administered to adults starting December.

The drug regulator had on August 20 given emergency use authorisation (EUA) to the three-dose Covid-19 vaccine, the first in India that can be given to people 12 years and above. While a major chunk of the vaccine is to be earmarked for children, the government has decided to start administering it to adults first.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is expected to finalise the guidelines on prioritisation of vaccination of children in a meeting slated to happen this month. “In the meantime, preparations have started for the inclusion of the vaccine in the national programme,” a senior government official said.

After Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik, Zydus’ vaccine will be the fourth to be added in the vaccination programme.

Zydus Cadila managing director Sharvil Patel had earlier said the company could manufacture 10 million doses of the vaccine by October and 40-50 million doses by January 2022. Zydus Cadila has received an order to supply 10 million doses of ZyCoV-D, the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine, to the Indian government at ₹265 per dose, along with a needle-free applicator which is offered at ₹93 per dose, excluding GST.

“The plan is to start administering Zydus’ vaccine from December. Out of the one crore (10 million) doses, some part of it will be used for adults. This will be the next vaccine to be put in the basket of vaccines that the government has been administering. The vaccination division of the health ministry has started the preparatory work,” added the official.

Zydus Cadila developed ZyCov-D with the support of the department of biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research. It has shown 66.6% efficacy in an interim study on more than 28,000 volunteers, including nearly 1,000 in the 12-18 age group. The three doses have to be administered 28 days apart, so vaccination will be complete in two months. The minimum interval between two doses of the Covishield vaccine is currently 84 days in India.