Needle-Free Covid-19 Vaccine ZyCov-D To Be Given To Adults Initially
Any decision on vaccinating children against Covid-19 will be based on expert opinion, the Union Health Minister has said.
Under the Centre's national anti-Covid-19 immunisation programme, Zydus Cadila's vaccine, ZyCov-D, which has been cleared by India's drug regulator for those aged 12 and up, will only be administered to adults for the time being, as per reports.
The Health Ministry has given the go-ahead to begin preparations for the inclusion of the needle-free vaccine in the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination effort and it might be implemented soon.
The ministry has already placed a purchase order for one crore doses of the vaccine with the Ahmedabad-based company.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said last week that the government does not want to rush into delivering Covid-19 vaccination to youngsters and that any decision in this regard will be based on expert opinion.
According to Mandaviya, children are not being immunised against the novel-coronavirus-caused disease on a large scale anywhere in the world, but some countries have started doing so in a limited way.
“We have decided to think and evaluate before going ahead with vaccinating children as they are the future of our country and we need to tread with caution in this matter," the minister noted.
Reports also revealed that the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is establishing a comprehensive paediatric immunisation programme, which includes developing a priority list of co-morbidities.
The made-in-India ZyCov-D Covid-19 vaccine is the first to be approved by India's drug regulator for use in children aged 12 and above.
However, reports noted that healthcare workers, who will be assigned to vaccinate people, will receive a brief instruction on how to use the needle-free applicator in real-world situations while delivering ZyCov-D to adults.
The developer of the world's first plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19 said earlier this month that it has secured an order from the central government to supply one crore doses of ZyCoV-D for Rs 265 per dosage — it's a three-dose vaccine.
Each dose of the needle-free vaccine requires a disposable painless jet applicator, which costs Rs 93 per dose (excluding goods and services tax), bringing the total cost to Rs 358 per dose.
The total cost to the government to inoculate a person with ZyCoV-D and an applicator would be Rs 1,074.
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