Zydus Covid-19 vaccine hit by delay in supply

Updated on Jan 19, 2022 05:12 AM IST

Zydus was expected to supply the first batch of its Covid-19 vaccine to the central government around the end of December last year.

Chennai, Jan 18 (ANI): A beneficiary receives a precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a door-to-door vaccination drive, in Chennai on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (L. Anantha Krishnan)
Chennai, Jan 18 (ANI): A beneficiary receives a precautionary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine during a door-to-door vaccination drive, in Chennai on Tuesday. (ANI Photo) (L. Anantha Krishnan)
By, New Delhi

A delay in supplies has led to Zydus Healthcare’s ZyCoV-D not being included in India’s Covid-19 immunisation programme, according to people familiar with the development.

“Their supply to the government is a bit delayed, which is why it has not started being administered the programme yet,” an official said on condition of anonymity. “There has been absolutely no problem from the government’s side.”

Zydus was expected to supply the first batch of its Covid-19 vaccine to the central government around the end of December last year.

ZyCoV-D, the world’s first DNA-based and needle-free Covid-19 vaccine and the second indigenously developed one to be approved, was cleared for restricted use in emergency situation in people 12 years of age and above.

Zydus did not respond to a query on the delay. The company had on November 8 announced that the government had placed an order for 10 million doses of ZyCov-D.

The cost of per dose was fixed at 265, or 795 for the recommended three-dose regimen.

84% of hospital beds vacant: Data
84% of hospital beds vacant: Data

The company had earlier announced that it should have a production capacity of about 10-12 million doses per month.

The Zydus vaccine will initially be used in districts of seven states with low first dose coverage before it is rolled out nationwide, the health ministry said last month.

The seven states where ZyCoV-D was scheduled to be administered in the first phase were Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The training to administer the vaccine has been completed.

ZyCoV-D was developed in partnership with the government’s department of biotechnology under Mission COVID Suraksha, which involved the pooling of resources by several Indian research institutions for development and clinical trials. The Drugs Controller General of India on August 20 granted emergency use authorization.

The vaccine works by instructing cells to produce the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which elicits an immune response. Results from the company’s phase III clinical trials showed the vaccine has an efficacy of 66.6%. The vaccine is to be given on day zero, day 28 and day 56, as per the schedule shared by the company.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Rhythma Kaul works as an assistant editor at Hindustan Times. She covers health and related topics, including ministry of health and family welfare, government of India.

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