Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, ZyCoV-D, has received approval for emergency use in India and it will be administered to people 12 years and above. “Zydus Cadila has received approval for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for ZyCoV-D today i.e. 20/08/2021, the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for COVID-19 to be administered in humans including children and adults 12 years and above,” the department of biotechnology (DBT) said.
India has now approved six vaccines. Two of them from AstraZeneca Plc and one from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Ltd are already being used in the government’s vaccination drive across the country. Russia’s Sputnik V has been administered in small numbers and Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc are negotiating for legal indemnity.
Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D are the only two vaccine candidates to have been tested among children in India. They are also the only ones to be developed indigenously.
Here are 10 points about ZyCoV-D:
1. ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine when injected produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
2. ZyCoV-D works against newer virus strains, including the highly infectious Delta variant, Zydus Cadila has claimed.
3. ZyCoV-D will be administered first on day zero, day 28th and then on the 56th day.
4. It elicits an immune response, which plays a vital role in protection from the disease as well as viral clearance.
5. The department of biotechnology said that the “plug-and-play” technology on which the plasmid DNA platform is based can be easily adapted to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring.
6. ZyCoV-D works by instructing cells to produce the spike protein of the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which elicits an immune response.
7. Zydus Cadila said the vaccine is delivered via a “painless” intradermal applicator and added that it plans to seek approval for a two-dose regimen of the vaccine.
8. The vaccine has been developed in partnership with the department under Mission COVID Suraksha.
9. It has been implemented by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council.
10. ZyCoV-D has been supported under the Covid-19 Research Consortia through National Biopharma Mission for preclinical studies, Phase I and Phase II clinical trials and under the Mission COVID Suraksha for Phase III Clinical Trial.