The Centre is all set to roll out the world’s first DNA vaccine ZyCov-D against Covid this month. A source said the government aims to procure a total of 60 lakh vaccines in October for this.
The source said that the government will procure over 28 crore vaccines in October. It includes 22 crore Covishield vaccine shots, six crore Covaxin and 60 lakh DNA vaccine.
The ZyCov-D vaccine was approved by India’s regulatory authority in August 2020. The three-dose DNA built vaccine has 66.6 per cent efficacy against Covid. Instead of a needle, it uses an applicator to inject the skin with lab-produced DNA.
The Zydus Cadila vaccine was scheduled to be rolled out in the first week of October. On being asked about the delay in the vaccine roll out, NITI Ayog Member (Health) Dr V.K. Paul said last week that Zydus Cadila vaccine was not administered using conventional syringes or needles, but through an applicator, which will be used for the first time in the country.
Paul said, “We are working on the trainers. The training programmes are being conducted on the use of applicators. We are also sorting out the logistics issues of the vaccine and soon it will be a part of Covid-19 vaccination drive.”
ZyCoV-D vaccine will be administered to the age group of 12-18 years.
Meanwhile, India’s vaccination coverage has crossed the 96 crore mark till Wednesday morning with the administration of 50,63,845 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours. India is pushing hard to achieve the mark of 100 crore vaccines very soon. The source said it can be achieved within 2 to 3 days. He added that all ministers and MPs will propagate the achievement in their constituencies.
However, over 8.43 crore balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the States/UTs to be administered, as per the data shared by the Union Health Ministry.