The central government has placed an order of one crore doses of Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 vaccines, ZyCoV-D, at Rs 265 per dose, said the drug firm on Monday.
The Ahmedabad-based pharma company earlier had proposed a price of Rs 1,900 for its three-dose regimen, sources said.
ZyCoV-D is the first DNA plasmid vaccine in the world for human use, developed indigenously by the company against the COVID-19 virus, Zydus Cadila said.
ZyCoV-D is to be given first on day zero, day 28th then on the 56th day. It will be administered using a needle-free applicator as opposed to traditional syringes. The applicator, called “PharmaJet”, will be sold at ₹93 per dose, excluding GST.
ZyCoV-D received emergency use authorization from the drug regulator on August 20.
“We are happy to support the Government’s vaccination programme with ZyCoV-D. The needle-free application of the vaccination, we hope, will motivate many more to vaccinate and safeguard themselves from COVID-19, especially children and young adults in the age group of 12 to 18 years,” said the Managing Director of the company, Dr. Sharvil Patel.
Meanwhile, the government is still waiting for the recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) for introducing ZyCoV-D in the inoculation drive for adults and children with co-morbidities.
NTAGI will provide the protocol and framework for the introduction of this vaccine in the COVID-19 immunization drive.
An unidentified official told The Indian Express that the vaccine had demonstrated 66.66% efficacy during the phase three trials. The official added that the vaccine will be made available in November and that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation was in the final stages of deliberations on using ZyCoV-D for adolescents.
Currently, the Indian government is procuring Covishield and Covaxin for the national Covid-19 immunization programme. Apart from these two vaccines, Russia’s Sputnik V is also being administered to adults.
(With Inputs From Agencies)