Zydus Cadila's needle-free Covid vaccine approval may take more time
A decision on the approval of Indian pharmaceutical major Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine likely to take a few more days. If approved, the ZyCoV-D would be the fifth vaccine cleared for use in the country after locally produced Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russia's Sputnik V and the US-made Moderna.
The ZyCoV-D vaccine would also be the world's first DNA vaccine against coronavirus and the fourth to become available in the country.
The company had last week submitted an application to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), seeking authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine. DNA-Plasmid based ZyCoV-D will be a three-dose vaccine. It is an intradermal vaccine, applied using a 'needle-free injector'. The company claims the needle-free system can lead to a significant reduction in side effects.
ZyCoV-D can be stored at two to four degrees Celsius and does not require cold chains, making transportation to the remotest parts of the country easy. The vaccine candidate has been supported by the National Biopharma Mission (NBM) under the aegis of Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), a PSU under the Department of Biotechnology. Also, the jab is being tested on children belonging to the age group of 12 to 18 years, apart from adults.
The vaccine has shown the efficacy of 66.6% against symptomatic Covid cases and 100% for moderate disease. Zydus has claimed to have conducted the largest clinical trial for a Covid-19 vaccine in India in over 50 centres.