ZyCoV-D will first launch in seven states, health ministry says

Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D Covid vaccine will first be launched in seven states, including Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the ministry said. Health.

The seven states were asked to identify districts where there is a large population of eligible unvaccinated people – who have not yet received even a single dose, for the introduction of the new vaccine.

Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) said in the first week of November that it received an order to provide the Center with 10 million doses of ZyCoV-D, the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine. The price of the vaccine is Rs 265 per dose and the needleless applicator is offered at Rs 93 per dose, excluding goods and services tax (GST). The vaccine was shown to be 66.6% effective in the interim analysis of Phase 3 trials. This is a three-dose regimen given on day zero, day 28, and day 56.

The health ministry also said the national training for the administration of ZyCoV-D has been completed since the vaccine is not given by injection but using needle-free pharmjet technology.

“States should schedule sessions based on the pharmajet injector and identify vaccinators to be trained to use it for vaccination,” the health ministry said.

Zydus vaccine is given using a needleless injection system (NFIS). The American startup PharmaJet has joined forces with Zydus Cadila, which will exclusively administer the ZyCoV-D vaccine via a Pharmajet Tropis needle-free injection system. The sensation of the sting is less than what one feels when taking an insulin pen.

Sharvil Patel, MD, Zydus Cadila explains, “The applicator delivers the vaccine into the dermis (skin) and not into the muscle. This makes it significantly less painful.

The system consists of two key components: an injector that can be used multiple times, a single-use syringe or applicator, and a filling adapter. The needleless injector delivers the vaccine intradermally through a narrow stream that delivers the drug into the skin.

The applicator absorbs the measured dose – 100 microliters of vaccine and delivers with a click of a button on the pen. Vaccinators need brief training before they can use the delivery system, and even less skilled vaccinators can give an injection of ZyCoV-D.

The pen can be used several thousand times.

The government has asked states to ensure that the available vaccine is consumed on time and that no doses expire in public and private facilities. According to the company, the vaccine has shown stability at temperatures of around 25 degrees for at least three months.

States were also urged to develop targeted dose plans in August and September 2021 to ensure coverage of all beneficiaries due for their second dose by exponentially increasing the rate of vaccination.

Zydus wins the Singapore made applicator contract and assembles the product here in Ahmedabad. Soon, the company may also offer the manufacture of applicators in India.

The total doses of vaccines administered in the country crossed 1.25 billion Thursday. More than 84 percent have been vaccinated with a single dose while 49 percent are now fully vaccinated according to interim reports. About 120 million beneficiaries are yet to receive their second dose in India.

So far, the company has invested around Rs.400-500 crore to develop the DNA plasmid vaccine, including setting up manufacturing plants. Zydus can give monthly doses of the vaccine for 10 minutes.

Shilpa Medicare of Hyderabad will manufacture the drug substance (feedstock) for the Cadila Healthcare ZyCoV-D DNA Plasmid Vaccine at its facility in Dharwad. Shilpa Biologicals, a subsidiary of Shilpa Medicare, will manufacture the drug substance for the vaccine, while Zydus will handle the filling-packaging and distribution of the vaccine.

Cadila Healthcare, a major drug based in Ahmedabad, is currently testing whether a two-dose regimen of its ZyCoV-D DNA plasmid vaccine works instead of a three-dose regimen showing similar levels of efficacy.

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