The world is still grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, & the only way out of this pandemic is through mass vaccination. With new variants emerging, vaccine makers are racing to develop vaccines that can provide effective protection against the virus. In India, Zydus Cadila has developed a needle-free corona vaccine called Zycov-D, which has recently been approved for emergency use by the Indian drug regulator. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Zydus needle-free corona vaccine, Zycov-D, & explore all you need to know about it.
Zycov-D is a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Ahmedabad-based pharmaceutical company, Zydus Cadila. The vaccine has been developed using a DNA-based platform, which is different from the mRNA technology used in vaccines like Pfizer & Moderna. Zycov-D is also the world’s first needle-free COVID-19 vaccine. It is administered using a needle-free injector, which uses a high-pressure liquid stream to deliver the vaccine directly into the muscle tissue.
How does Zycov-D work?
Zycov-D is a three-dose vaccine, which is administered on day 0, day 28, and day 56. The vaccine uses a DNA-based platform, where a small piece of the genetic material of the coronavirus is introduced into the body. This genetic material instructs the body to produce a protein called spike protein, which is found on the surface of the coronavirus. Once the spike protein is produced, the body’s immune system recognizes it as foreign & produces antibodies against it. These antibodies provide protection against the coronavirus!
Effectiveness of Zycov-D
Zydus Cadila has conducted phase 3 clinical trials of Zycov-D on over 28,000 volunteers across India. The trial results have shown that the vaccine has an efficacy rate of 66.6% against symptomatic COVID-19 cases. The vaccine has also shown 100% efficacy against moderate to severe COVID-19 cases.
Advantages of Zycov-D
The needle-free delivery system of Zycov-D is one of its biggest advantages. It eliminates the need for needles, syringes, and trained healthcare workers, making the vaccine easy to administer & transport. The vaccine can be stored at 2-8°C, which makes it easy to store & transport in India’s hot and humid climate. The vaccine is also affordable & can be manufactured on a large scale, making it accessible to the masses.
Side Effects of Zycov-D
Like all vaccines, Zycov-D can cause side effects. The most common side effects reported in clinical trials include pain & swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, fever, & muscle pain. These side effects are usually mild to moderate & go away on their own within a few days.
Availability and Distribution of Zycov-D
Zycov-D has received emergency use authorization from the Indian drug regulator and is expected to be available in the Indian market soon. Zydus Cadila plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of the vaccine annually. The company has also tied up with the Indian government to supply 5 crore doses of the vaccine to the government at a subsidized price!
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Zycov-D is a promising vaccine that has shown good efficacy in clinical trials. Its needle-free delivery system makes it easy to administer and transport, which is a big advantage in a country like India. With the approval of Zycov-D, India now has five vaccines that are authorized for emergency use. It is important to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect yourself & those around you from COVID-19. Remember to continue following COVID-appropriate behavior, even after getting vaccinated, to help break the chain of transmission & bring an end to this pandemic!