Plans afoot to add ZyCoV-D Covid-19 vaccine to national vaccination programme, says Dr VK Paul
With more than 750 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country so far, experts are planning to include the ZyCoV-D vaccine in the national vaccination programme, said Niti Aayog member (health) Dr VK Paul. He also said that a decision regarding the price of the vaccine is currently ongoing and would be taken soon.
“The discussion on its pricing is ongoing, a decision will be taken soon. We are looking to include this vaccine in the national vaccination program,” news agency ANI quoted Dr Paul as saying regarding the ZyCoV-D vaccine.
Currently, Covishield manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines are being used in India for immunisation against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The comments from Dr Paul came as the needle-free ZyCoV-D vaccine is expected to be available by early October. The vaccine is based on the plasmid DNA technology and follows a three-dose regimen with a 28-day gap between each dose. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave its nod to the vaccine earlier on August 20. It is also India’s first indigenously developed vaccine and is also the first vaccine in the country that has received emergency use authorisation (EUA) for being administered in the 12 to 18 age group.
Further, the company has also planned to seek approval for a two-dose regimen of its vaccine due to the burden on healthcare and the cost factor of three doses. Previously, 2mg of the vaccine would be prescribed in three doses each but now the company is planning to administer 3mg of the vaccine in two doses each, according to a report by ANI.
Earlier in June, the Union government had capped the price of all the three vaccines, currently being used in the country’s vaccination drive, at private hospitals. It directed the private hospitals to charge a maximum of ₹150 as service charge for administering the vaccines. Inclusive of the service charge, the maximum price that can be charged for a dose of Covishield vaccine would be ₹780, ₹1,410 for a dose of Covaxin and ₹1,145 for a dose of Sputnik V.
Meanwhile, more than 750 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the country, of which over 7.8 million doses were administered in the last 24 hours. As of 7am on Tuesday, 752,238,324 doses have been administered, the Union ministry of health and family welfare said.