Why Zydus Cadila vaccine rollout delayed? VK Paul points towards needle-free jet
- Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (Health), told a media briefing that an applicator will be used for the first time in India to administer the Covid-19 shots.
The government is working on trainers and logistics issues as Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine is not administered using a conventional syringe or a needle, the Union health ministry said on Thursday. Explaining the reason behind the delay in ZyCoV-D vaccine rollout, Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (Health), told a media briefing that an applicator will be used for the first time in India to administer the Covid-19 shots.
“Zydus Cadila vaccine is not administered using conventional syringe or a needle but through an applicator, which will be used for the first time in the country. We are working on the trainers and its logistic issues,” Paul said.
In August, Zydus Cadila received the emergency use authorisation from the drug controller general of India (DCGI) for its Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also announced the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19 at the 76th UN General Assembly session but didn’t declare any specific timeline for its rollout under the national vaccination programme.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Paul said that preparations to introduce the ZyCoV-D vaccine are underway, without giving a specific date for the rollout. “Preparations are underway to introduce the Zydus Cadila's COVID vaccine under the national vaccination programme. It is only a matter of a short period of time,” the Niti Aayog member said.
The vaccine will be administered in three doses using a painless needle-free jet, as against the other two-dose regimen vaccines currently under the national vaccination programme administered using syringe. For the first time in India, the vaccine will also be administered to adolescents in the age group of 12-18 years.
The vaccine contains genetic material from the virus, instructing the body to generate the specific spike protein that the immune system responds to. The vaccine has shown 66.6% efficacy in preventing the infection, with greater efficacy in protecting against moderate and severe cases.