After months of coping with a healthcare crisis of unimaginable proportions, we finally have news that will cheer everyone up! Very soon, even children will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Parents can now breathe a sigh of relief.
To combat the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 and to prevent another escalation or the arrival of the third wave, India has been proactively administering COVID-19 vaccines for months. The goal is to vaccinate the majority of the population by the end of the year.
Till date, only legal adults were eligible for the vaccination. The safety of the vaccine for people below 18 years of age was being researched.
Naturally, parents were worried for the safety of their children and due to this reason schools also could not function as it would pose a tremendous health risk. But the Drug Controller General of India has recently given emergency use approval to another homegrown vaccine- ZyCoV-D, The Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine. It is now the world’s only Covid vaccine that is needle-free and India’s only vaccine that can be administered to individuals in the age bracket of 12 to 18 years.
Here’s what we know about ZyCoV-D
ZyCoV-D has been developed by one of India’s top pharmaceutical companies Zydus Cadila, based in Ahmedabad under the ‘Mission COVID Suraksha’ programme. The Zydus Cadila vaccine approval by DCGI came on Friday, 20 August. It is the 6th vaccine to receive emergency use approval in India after Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V and the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
The Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine is also the first plasmid DNA vaccine for COVID-19 in the world. The Plasmid DNA platform also allows generating new constructs quickly to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring. The results of the Phase I part of the Phase I/II clinical trial have already been published in the EClinical Medicine Journal of Lancet.
How is the Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine different from the other vaccines in India?
It is a three-dose vaccine, first dose on day 0 followed by the second dose on 28th day and third dose on 56th day.
The COVID-19 vaccine from Zydus Cadila is a needle-free vaccine, it will be applied using the PharmaJet system which can minimise the vaccine hesitation in children due to fear of needles and is also expected to reduce the pain at the site of the vaccine caused in case of injections.
The Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine has to be stored within 2 to 8 degrees temperature but it gives the flexibility of storage temperature. It can tolerate temperatures as high as 25 degrees Celsius which will ease the transportation of these vaccines.
Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine is a plasmid DNA vaccine that will elicit an immune response mediated by cellular and humoral arms of the human immune system, which play a vital role in protection from disease as well as viral clearance.
When can we expect the Zydus Cadila COVID-19 vaccine?
Parents will want to know how soon they can get their children vaccinated. Zydus Cadila announced that it will be able to roll out the vaccines in 45-60 days from the day of approval. There is no available data on the price of the vaccine.
More Zydus Cadila vaccine updates will stream in soon. For now, we can celebrate the arrival of a 3-dose, needle-free covid vaccine- ZyCoV-D that is considered safe for children in the age group of 12-18, as the safety and efficacy of this vaccine are well established as notified in a press release by Zydus.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.