Zydus To Produce 1 Crore Doses Per Month By October, Says Chief

The vaccine, developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, is the second home-grown shot to get emergency authorisation in India after Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.

The vaccine cost, said the company, will factor in new technology and delivery mechanism.

New Delhi:

Zydus Cadila, whose Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D for adults and children aged 12 years and above got approval yesterday, said Saturday it hopes to produce one crore doses per month by October.

Sharvil Patel, managing director Cadila Healthcare, said his company will produce 3-5 crore doses by December-January, adding that it will not be able to meet the government's commitment of 5 crore doses from August to December.

It is in talks with some third party companies about a production alliance, and technology transfer, said Mr Patel.

The vaccine cost, he said, will factor in new technology and delivery mechanism.

The three-dose vaccine, developed in partnership with the Department of Biotechnology, is the second home-grown shot to get emergency authorisation in India after Bharat Biotech's Covaxin. Overall, it is the sixth vaccine authorised for use in the country.

In July, the drugmaker said its vaccine is effective against the new coronavirus mutants, especially the highly transmissible Delta variant. The shot is administered using a needle-free applicator as opposed to traditional syringes, it said.

Listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, it applied for the authorisation of ZyCoV-D on July 1, based on an efficacy rate of 66.6 per cent in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers nationwide.

ZyCoV-D is the world's first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said caution must be observed in vaccine's public health use as no developed country has yet used a DNA vaccine in humans.

"The Zydus Cadila vaccine getting emergency approval is a moment of celebration for Indian science. However, before it is administered in children, it should be given to young, healthy adults. None of the DNA vaccines, as yet, have been used in human beings in developed countries and efforts are underway to improve their immunogenicity and efficacy. It is an unfamiliar platform and I have not seen the Zydus Cadila's clinical trial data. Some caution is required in its public health use," said Dr Simran Panda, ICMR Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases.