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Zydus Cadila’s Covid Vaccine Approved: All About the First Jab for Kids in India

COVID-19 Vaccine: ZyCoV-D is the world's first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>COVID-19 Vaccine: Zydus Cadila receives emergency use approval for its COVID vaccine.&nbsp;</p></div>
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Zydus Cadila's three-dose COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the Drug Control General of India (DGCI), the Centre announced on Friday, 20 August.

The vaccine is 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 Centre said in a statement.

Earlier, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had recommended giving emergency approval to the vaccine.

How much do you know about the indigenous vaccine? What kind of a vaccine is it? How does it compare to other vaccines?

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What type of vaccine is ZyCoV-D?

ZyCoV-D is a Plasmid DNA vaccine.

The DNA (And RNA) vaccines—a relatively new technology developed for the first time only in the 1990s—don't introduce a weakened form of the pathogen like traditional vaccines.

Instead, this type of vaccine works by carrying the genetic code of the virus. The plasmid vector is taken up into cells and transcribed in the nucleus. This is transferred to another mRNA molecule, which induces a cell-mediated immune response.

In theory, DNA vaccines produce the same results as mRNA vaccines, and so the efficacy of the Zydus vaccine too is likely to be in the realm of the other mRNA vaccines already in the market, including Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.

Do DNA vaccines have any advantages over mRNA vaccines?

One advantage that DNA vaccines have over their mRNA counterparts is that they are more stable in higher temperatures, making them more suitable for use in warmer countries like India.

Furthermore, the (DNA vaccine) platform can be rapidly used to modify the vaccine in couple of weeks in case the virus mutates to ensure that the vaccine still elicits protection.

How is it different from other COVID-19 vaccines?

Zydus vaccine has the same goal, and is likely to have the same results as the two existing homegrown vaccines, but where it differs is in the way it works.

Covaxin is a whole inactive virus type vaccine, and Covishield is a non-replicating viral vector type vaccine.

The Zydus vaccine, as explained, is a DNA vaccine that delivers only a specific set of instructions to our cells that instructs our immune system to recognize and respond to the virus.

What is its efficacy?

Cadila Healthcare Ltd, an Ahmedabad-based generic drug maker, applied for the authorisation of ZyCoV-D on July 1, based on an efficacy rate of 66.6 percent in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers nationwide.

How many doses of ZyCoV-D is administered?

Unlike the other COVID-19 vaccines currently being administered in India, ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine.

The company had said earlier that the two-dose regime works as well as the three-dose regime, and has submitted relevant data on this.

It will be a needle-free vaccine which will use the ‘Jet Injector' technique to administer the three doses.How much does it cost?

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How much does it cost?

Zydus Group MD Dr Sharvil Patel on Saturday said that clarity on the price of ZyCOV-D vaccine will come next week.

Patel also said that supply of vaccines will start in mid-September.

Is the vaccine effective against new COVID-19 variants?

The drugmaker had said in July its COVID-19 vaccine was effective against the new coronavirus mutants, especially the highly infectious Delta variant.

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