(This was first published on 18 October 2021. It has been republished from The Quint's archives over Zydus Cadila starting supply of vaccine to the government.)
Zydus Cadila on Wednesday, 2 February, announced that it has started the supplies of its COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D to the Centre against the order placed earlier this year.
The vaccine will be purchased by the Centre at Rs 265 per dose, the company said.
Earlier in August, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had given Gujarat-based Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine emergency-use authorisation for use in adults and children above 12 years.
Here's all we know about the Zydus Cadila vaccine, which is most likely to be used in the first phase.
What type of vaccine is ZyCoV-D?
The Zydus Cadila vaccine is the first DNA vaccine against coronavirus, to be produced in India. It works by carrying a genetic code of the virus, which induces a cell-mediated immune response.
To break it down, the vaccine directs the cells to produce the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2 virus, which in turn elicits an immune response.
How many doses complete a vaccine cycle?
One needs to take three doses of the Zydus Cadila vaccine to complete a dose. The needle-less method will be used to administer the vaccine.
The first shot is given on Day 0, the second on the 28th day and the third on the 56th day.
What is a needle-less method?
The needle-less method is when the drug is directly delivered by using high pressure on the surface of the skin. The method uses the underlying tissues in the skin instead of a needle-based injection.
The vaccine will be administered using a needle-free applicator called 'PharmaJet'. This will be sold at Rs 93 per dose, excluding GST.
Do we know the price per dose?
The vaccine will be purchased by the Centre at Rs 265 per dose, the company said in a statement. A complete dose will cost Rs 795.
The Ahmedabad-based healthcare manufacturer is said to have proposed a price of Rs 1,900 for its three-dose jab, reported Hindustan Times earlier.
How safe is this vaccine?
Three-phase trials have been completed for the vaccine. While the first two trials did not show any significant side effects after the vaccine, the Phase 3 trials completed for the vaccine showed an efficacy of 66.6 percent.
The company has, however, not released details of the study or submitted it for a peer-review.