ZyCoV-D is the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for Covid-19 and it will be administered to people above 12 years and above.
The Ministry of Science and Technology on Friday said that Zydus Cadila has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for its ZyCoV-D vaccine. The is the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based vaccine for Covid-19 and it will be administered to people above 12 years and above.
Earlier in the day, Johnson & Johnson had submitted an application to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to conduct a study of its Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents aged between 12 to 17 years in India, news agency ANI reported. This comes as Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said a Covid-19 vaccine for children could be launched “very soon”.
Breakthrough infections of coronavirus cases comprise a very high proportion of the Delta variant, news agency PTI reported quoting INSACOG, a genome sequencing government consortium of laboratories. The continuing Covid-19 outbreaks across India are attributable to the Delta variant, a susceptible population and reduced vaccine effectiveness in blocking transmission, the INSACOG added. However, vaccination continues to be very effective in reducing severe disease and death, and public health measures to reduce transmission and inoculation remain critical, the INSACOG stressed in its latest bulletin dated August 16.
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What is the ZyCov-D vaccine, and how does it work?
ZyCov-D is a “plasmid DNA” vaccine — or a vaccine that uses a genetically engineered, non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule known as a ‘plasmid’.
The plasmids in this case are coded with the instructions to make the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Vaccination gives the code to cells in the recipient’s body, so they can begin making the spiky outer layer of the virus. The immune system is expected to recognize this as a threat and develop antibodies in response.
Most Covid-19 vaccines currently are given in two doses, with a couple of single-shot ones also available. ZyCov-D by contrast will be given in three doses, with an interval of 28 days between the first and second and second and third shots.
The other unique thing about the vaccine is the way it is given. No needle is used — instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.
ZyCov-D has been developed with the support of the central government’s Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Source: The Indian Express