India's first COVID vaccine for people above 12, gets approval


India's drug controller, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved the world’s first DNA vaccine against COVID-19 for restricted use in emergencies in India. It is also the first vaccine in India that can be administered to adults as well as children above 12 years of age.

The DNA vaccine, ZyCoV-D, is developed by the Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila group and was approved after evaluation of interim Phase III clinical trial results in consultation with the Subject Expert Committee of CDSCO.
An interim study by the vaccine-maker Cadila Healthcare revealed that the three-dose ZyCoV-D vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.6 per cent.

The vaccine is also India's first needle-free COVID-19 jab and needs intradermal registration in three doses at days 0, 28 and 56.

In the trial involving 28,000 volunteers in more than 50 centres, Cadila Healthcare said that it had conducted the largest clinical trial for the vaccine in India so far.

The firm claimed that this is also the first time that a COVID-19 vaccine had been tested in young people in India - 1,000 people belonging to the 12-18 age group.

The healthcare said that the jab was found to be "safe and very well tolerated" in this age group.

Cadila Healthcare conducted the key third phase of clinical trials at the peak of the deadly second wave of COVID-19, and it believes that this trial reaffirmed the jab's "efficacy against the mutant strains", especially the highly infectious Delta variant.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is fighting COVID-19 with “full vigour” and the approval for the world’s first DNA-based ZyCov-D vaccine is a "testimony to the innovative zeal of India's scientists".
ZyCov-D is the 6th approved COVID19 vaccine in India, and the 2nd indigenously developed one.

(Edited by Aparmita Das)

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