Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila on Monday said that the Indian government has ordered one crore doses of ZyCoV-D vaccine against the coronavirus.
The ZyCov-D is the world’s first DNA vaccine against the coronavirus disease and is given in three doses. It makes use of a portion of the genetic code – deoxyribonucleic acid or ribonucleic acid – in the SARS-CoV-2 virus to stimulate an immune response against its spike protein, according to the Ahmedabad-headquartered company.
The vaccine was approved by the Drug Controller General of India on August 20 for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above.
In a filing to the stock exchanges on Monday, Zydus Cadila said it has set a price of Rs 265 per dose. The price was decided in consultation with the government.
However, the vaccine’s needle-free applicator, called the Pharmajet, will be sold separately at Rs 93, excluding the goods and services tax. Pharmajet is devised to ensure painless delivery of the vaccine through the skin.
With this, the total cost of the vaccine will be Rs 358 per dose. Earlier, the company had proposed a cost of Rs 1,900 with taxes for every dose of the ZyCoV-D vaccine.
Meanwhile, the government is yet to receive suggestions from National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on introducing ZyCoV-D in vaccination drives for adults and children with co-morbidities, NDTV reported. India is yet to start vaccinating children.
An unidentified official told The Indian Express that the vaccine had demonstrated 66.66% efficacy during the phase three trials. The official added that the vaccine will be made available in November and that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation was in final stages of deliberations on using ZyCoV-D for adolescents.
Currently, the Indian government is procuring Covishield and Covaxin for the national Covid-19 immunisation programme. Apart from these two vaccines, Russia’s Sputnik V is also being administered to adults.
India administered 23,84,096 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a statement. So far, 108.47 crore doses have been administered to the citizens.