The Government of India is set to procure one crore (ten million) doses of Zydus Cadila's Zy-CoV-D vaccine at a total of ₹265 per shot. This vaccine when introduced into the country's COVID-19 vaccine programme will be the first one that can be given to children above the age of 12 in the country.
Ahmedabad-based Zydus has created the world's first COVID-19 vaccine using DNA plasmids. Another feature of this vaccine is that it will not be injected via needle syringes but will use a separate needle-free applicator that costs ₹93 per shot. This applicator, called PharmaJet helps in the administration of the vaccine intradermally (into the dermal layer of the skin) without any pain. It also reduces chances of undergoing needle-induced anxiety and any other post-vaccine side effects. One injector can give close to 20,000 shots.
Zy-CoV-D is supposed to be administered in three doses within 28 days each. Each dose is further broken down into two separate doses on both arms. Along with the money and taxes levied through GST, the government is expected to pay ₹1,128 to Zydus for fully vaccinating an individual.
While it received emergency use authorisation on August 20, there is no clarity on when the vaccine will be included in the country's COVID-19 immunisation programme. Its launch should be imminent as it is the only vaccine permitted in the country for inoculating those who are above the age of 12. Bharat Biotech's Covaxin has also received emergency use authorisation for vaccinating those who are in this age group as well as inoculating those between the ages of 5-12.
The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is yet to decide when the vaccine will be available for commercial use
Earlier, Zydus wanted to sell its vaccine at close to ₹1,900. After repeated negotiations with the government, the pharmaceutical company agreed to reduce its prices. The Ministry currently procures Serum Institute of India's Covishield at ₹215 per shot and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin at ₹225 per shot.
Neither the Centre nor the vaccine manufacturer have revealed how much the vaccine will cost when it is made available for the private health players across the country. People pay ₹780 for one dose of Covishield, ₹1410 for one shot of Covaxin, and ₹1145 for one shot of Russia's adenoviral Sputnik vaccine at private hospitals.
The DNA plasmid vaccine is 66 per cent effective against SARS-CoV-2 and the vaccine trials did not report any serious or severe adverse events among the recipients.
Updated On: 2021-11-09T16:12:05+05:30