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ZyCoV-D: India’s first needle-free three-dose covid vaccine for adolescents

ZyCoV-D: India’s first needle-free three-dose covid vaccine for adolescents

December 4, 2021

ZyCov-D, a needle-free vaccine is all set to be rolled out in India very soon. This is India’s second-made indegenous vaccine after Covaxin. It is unique as it has been developed on a plasmid DNA platform and is a first plasmid DNA vaccine in the world for human use. The vaccine will first be given to adults, and then administered to children aged between 12 and 17. Accordingly, it is also the first vaccine for adolescents in India.

The ZyCov-D vaccine was authorised by Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in August. The vaccine was tested at Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) in Himachal Pradesh and manufactured by Cadila Healthcarevaccine and is given in doses of three. The second and third doses are to be taken 28 and 56 days after the first.

2,37,530 doses of the vaccine has already been released which will be first administered to adults. After it strengthens its production capacity, it will then be available to adolescents, said Dr Sandeep Patil, chief intensivist, Fortis Hospital, Kalyan.

ZyCoV-D will be administered using a needle-free applicator instead of traditional syringes. As per reports, the single dose of the vaccine will be made available to the Centre at Rs 376 including the cost of the jet applicator and GST, taking the price of the three-dose jab to Rs 1,128.

It will be first available to seven states of the country and is not yet a part of national vaccination drive, according to a government official.

Most vaccines are made using a weakened form of the infectious agent. In this case, a piece of DNA containing the genes for the antigens is used to inject in the body. This helps the body to learn how to respond against the antigen. So when the pathogen attacks, the body can then generate specific antibodies to combat Covid.

This was the first vaccine that was also tested in the adolescent population (12-18 years). The vaccine has been jointly developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, showing a primary efficacy of 66.66% in phase three clinical trials.

Also Read: Pfizer covid vaccine safe for children aged 5-11: Trial results

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