Covid-19: Zydus Cadila’s ZyCov-D vaccine gets nod for emergency use in India — here’s everything you must know about country’s sixth vaccine

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August 21, 2021 3:26 PM

Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D: The company plans to manufacture 100 to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D vaccine annually

CDSCO on Friday approved Zydus Cadila's three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine for emergency use authorisation in adults and children aged 12 years and above

India’s drug regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), on Friday approved Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine for emergency use authorisation in adults and children aged 12 years and above. This is by far the sixth vaccine authorised for use in the country. The company plans to manufacture 100 to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D vaccine annually and has started to stockpile the vaccine. Here is everything you need to know about the ZyCov-D.

How ZyCov-D vaccine work?

Zydus Cadila’s ‘ZyCov-D’ is a “plasmid DNA” type of vaccine. You can also say, a vaccine that uses a non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule commonly known as a ‘plasmid’. These plasmids come with the instructions manual to make the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus causing the covid infection in the body. Vaccination hints at the cells in the recipient’s body, which then begins making the spiky outer layer of the virus. The immune system in our body recognizes this as a threat and develops antibodies in response.

Unlike the test Covid-19 vaccines which are given in two doses, ZyCov-D will be given in three doses, within the time interval of 28 days between the first, second and second and third doses. ZyCov-D has been prepared with the assistance of the central government’s Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Vaccine’s effectiveness

The vaccine has brought down symptomatic cases of Covid-19 in those who received jabs by nearly 67 per cent compared with those who did not receive the vaccine shot, the vaccine trial data reveals. “This is based on 79 to 90 RT-PCR confirmed cases of Covid-19 from those vaccinated in the phase 3 trials”, Zydus Cadila managing director Dr Sharvil Patel said as reported in The Indian Express. The trial data also reveals that two doses of the vaccine are enough to prevent people from catching infecting or severe symptoms of Covid-19 and to prevent death. Three doses of the vaccine would keep even moderate symptoms of COVID-19 at bay.

Can this vaccine fight the Delta variant?

The phase 3 trial of ZyCov-D was conducted at 50 clinical trial sites during the time when world was struggling with seond wave of coronavirus and the daily positive cases were touching its peak. And so, the company believes that this vaccine is very much effective against the Delta variant of the coronavirus. “You know that 99 per cent of all strains that have been found in sero (surveillance) tests have been the Delta variant… Our data was in the peak of April, May, and June,” Dr Patel told to The Indian Express. The company can “upgrade” ZyCov-D “if needed” to target other variants of concern as well if that become more infectious in nature, Dr Patel added.

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