India to introduce needle-free Cadila Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D Covid-19 vaccine this month

India will introduce Cadila Healthcare’s needle-free ZyCoV-D Covid-19 vaccine in seven states, including Maharashtra and West Bengal, news agency Reuters reported on Thursday.

Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila will supply 1 crore doses of ZyCoV-D, the world’s first Plasmid DNA COVID-19 vaccine, to the Government of India this month. The Center has placed an initial order for one crore doses of the vaccine.

Earlier, The Center had placed an order to supply one crore doses of ZyCoV-D at Rs.265 per dose and the needle-free applicator being offered at Rs.93 per dose, excluding GST.

ZyCoV-D is the first DNA plasmid vaccine in the world for human use, developed indigenously by the company against the Covid-19 virus. It is also the first COVID-19 vaccine that is needle-free and administered using PharmaJet, a needle-free applicator to ensure painless intradermal vaccine delivery which also leads to a significant reduction in any kind of major side effects.

ZyCoV-D has shown good stability at temperatures of around 25 degrees for at least three months. The thermostability of the vaccine will help in easy transportation and storage of the vaccine without any problems of fluctuations in temperature.

For prolonged use, a temperature of 2-8 degrees is sufficient. Also being a DNA plasmid vaccine, ZyCoV-D doesn’t have any problem associated with vector-based immunity. The DNA Plasmid platform allows generating new constructs quickly to deal with mutations in the virus.

Recently, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved ZyCoV-D for restricted use in emergency situation in the age group 12 years and above.