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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Zydus Cadila’s three-dose vaccine gets DCGI nod: A look at its salient features

ZyCoV-D became the sixth vaccine to be approved for use in India after Serum Institute's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russia's Sputnik V, and the US-based Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: August 20, 2021 9:52:19 pm
A health worker administers a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Chennai. (PTI)

Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D on Friday received emergency use authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and it will be administered to people 12 years and above, the Ministry of Science and Technology said.

With this, ZyCoV-D became the sixth vaccine to be approved for use in India after Serum Institute’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Russia’s Sputnik V, and the US-based Moderna and Johnson and Johnson.

In a statement, the Ministry of Science and Technology announced that the “world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for Covid-19” will be administered not only in adults but also in children above 12 years.

Describing the approval of the vaccine as a “momentous feat”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “India is fighting COVID-19 with full vigour. The approval for world’s first DNA based ‘ZyCov-D’ vaccine of @ZydusUnniverse is a testimony to the innovative zeal of India’s scientists.”

The Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila had on July 1 applied for emergency use authorisation of ZyCoV-D with the DCGI. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) deliberated on the application on Thursday and recommended granting emergency use authorisation to the three-dose vaccine.

ZyCoV-D has been tested in phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials involving over 28,000 participants in all. According to trial data so far, the vaccine has been able to bring down symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in those who received doses by nearly 67 per cent compared with those who did not get a vaccine. This is based on 79 to 90 RT-PCR confirmed cases of Covid-19 from those vaccinated in the phase 3 trials, Zydus Cadila managing director Dr Sharvil Patel said.

Salient features of ZyCoV-D vaccine by Zydus Cadila

🔴 ZyCov-D is the world’s first DNA vaccine against infection with SARS-CoV-2. It is a “plasmid DNA” vaccine that uses a genetically engineered, non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule known as a ‘plasmid’.

🔴 While most of the Covid-19 vaccines available now are given in two doses, with a couple of single-shot ones too, ZyCoV-D will be given in three doses, with an interval of 28 days between the first, second and and third shots.

Two doses of the vaccine seem to be enough to prevent people from developing severe symptoms of Covid-19 and to prevent death, while three doses keep even moderate symptoms at bay, according to trial data.

🔴 Unlike other vaccines approved in India till now, ZyCoV-D is to be administered in children above 12 years age, apart from adults. Trials for the vaccine were also conducted among children of ages 12 years and 18 years who constituted at least a thousand of the total number of participants.

🔴 Also, no needle is used while administering the jabs to the beneficiaries. Instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.

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