- Indian multinational pharma company, Zydus Cadila to supply 1 crore doses of ZyCov-D vaccine to the Centre.
- Each dose would cost ₹ 265 and would come with a painless jet applicator that pressurizes the liquid medication making it capable of penetrating the skin.
The Union Ministry of Health has given consent to start off preparatory work for the release of the natively developed plasmid DNA based Covid-19 vaccine, ZyCov-D manufactured by Zydus Cadila. Post interminable discussions with the government, Zydus agreed to lower the cost to Rs. 265 per shot.
ZyCov-D is one of its kind, the first-ever vaccine to be given a go-ahead by India’s drug regulator immunization of those aged 12 years and above. Administering the needle-free vaccine is pretty seamless. Each dose comes with a disposable painless jet applicator which costs ₹93. This jacks up the price per dose to ₹358.
The Ahmedabad stationed pharma company had, in the initial stages had offered a price of ₹1900 for its three-dose regimen. The administration of the three doses is to be scheduled 28 days apart, with each dose constituting a shot in both arms. The price was brought down later, following recurrent negotiations by the Government.
The locally developed, world’s premier plasmid DNA based vaccine received authorisation for emergency use from the drug regulator on August 20th. Dr Sharvil Patel, Managing Director at Zydus Cadila expressed his delight in supporting the Government’s vaccination programme with the home-grown ZyCov-D vaccine.
The aspect of a needle-free application, he believes, would encourage children and young adults aged 12 to 18 years to come forward for vaccination in order to shield themselves from Covid-19.
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The Government awaits recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) for bringing in the ZyCov-D in the vaccination drives for adults and children with comorbidities. Explicit guidelines and frameworks for the launch of this vaccine in inoculation drives will be imparted by the NTAGI.
Disparities in the pricing structure of ZyCov-D and Covaxin, as well as Covishield, is on the grounds of the fact that the former is a three-dose vaccine and necessitates the use of a special pharma injector for administering the vaccine. The injector can be used for dispensing 20,000 doses.
Over 28,000 volunteers participated in Phase-III of the clinical trials and the drug reported a primary efficacy of 66.6 per cent in symptomatic RT-PCR positive cases.