As India's vaccination drive drags on, sources on Monday, said that Zydus Cadila's vaccine ZyCov-D's approval will take a few more days. Zydus Cadila applied for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for ZyCoV-D on July 1, after completion of the third phase of trials. The Ahmedabad-based company which has developed the world's first DNA COVID-19 vaccine, seeks to launch it for 12 years & above - making it the first vaccine aimed to innoculate teenaged children in India. Recently, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya visited the manufacturing plant.

Zydus Cadila's emergency nod in a few days

How is ZyCoV-D different?

As per its website, ZyCoV-D is a DNA vaccine based on plasmid DNA - a small, circular and extrachromosomal bacterial DNA. The plasmid DNA with its property of self-replication carries the genetic code of the virus. This helps the plasmids make spike protein and develop antibodies. ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine injected at an interval of 28 days each. ZyCoV-D is manufactured by Zydus Cadila in collaboration with the Centre's National Biopharma Mission.

According to the company's website, Phase-3 clinical trials were conducted on  30,000 healthy adult volunteers and was found to be safe, well-tolerated and immunogenic. In phase-1/2 trials, after conducting trials on 1000 volunteers, the vaccine was found to be safe and elicit a strong immunogenic response. The vaccine trials were conducted in over 60 plus sites and is stable at 2 to 8 degrees as a result in a normal refrigeration temperature. The vaccine is also very thermostable at 25 degrees.

What other unique features does ZyCoV-D shot have?

Moreover, Zydus Cadila chief Dr Sharvil Patel said that the vaccine uses no needles for injecting. The vaccine vial comes with a spring-powered device which delivers the shot is a precise stream into the recipient. Zydus aims to produce 5 crore doses by December 2021. Dr Patel has stated two doses of ZyCoV-D itself must be sufficient to prevent hospitallisation due to COVID-19.

Centre's COVID working group Chairman Dr. NK Arora said that ZyCoV-D said, "With the Zydus Cadila vaccine's trial complete, by July end or in August, we might be able to start administering this vaccine to children of 12-18 age group. We have a window period of 6-8 months to immunise everybody in the country. In coming days, our target is to administer 1 crore doses every day". Other vaccines in the pipeline are Biological E's COVID vaccine - Corbevax, Covaxin's nasal vaccine, SII's Novavax.

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