- India approves new coronavirus vaccine.
- Approval granted for use in adults and children 12 and olde.
- India aims to vaccinate all eligible adults by December, 2021.
World’s first DNA shot against the COVID-19 virus has been granted emergency use approval by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization of the Government of India (CDSCO), as the country still struggles to contain the virus spread in some states.
The CDSCO approval was granted for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 and older.
The approval will provide the first shot for those below 18 years old, and give a boost to India’s vaccination program, that aims to vaccinate all eligible Indian adults by December, 2021.
The vaccine, ZyCoV-D, uses a section of genetic material from the virus that gives instructions as either DNA or RNA to make the specific protein that the immune system recognizes and responds to.
Unlike most coronavirus vaccines, that need two doses or even a single dose, ZyCoV-D is administered in three doses.
The generic drug-maker, listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, aims to make 100 million to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D annually and has already begun stockpiling the vaccine.
Zydus Cadila’s vaccine, developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, is the second home-grown shot to get emergency authorization in India after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.
The drug-maker said in July its COVID-19 vaccine was effective against the new coronavirus mutants, especially the Delta variant, and that the shot is administered using a needle-free applicator as opposed to traditional syringes.
The firm had applied for the authorization of ZyCoV-D on July 1, based on an efficacy rate of 66.6 percent in a late-stage trial of more than 28,000 volunteers nationwide.