New Delhi: The government on Thursday said Zydus Cadila's indigenously-developed needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D will be introduced in the nationwide anti-coronavirus vaccination drive very shortly and would have a differential pricing than the jabs being used currently.
As far as the price at which it will be procured is concerned, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told a press conference that the government is in talks with the manufacturer.
"As far as the price of the vaccine at which it will be procured is concerned, we are in conversations with the manufacturer. Since it is a three-dose vaccine and comes with a needleless delivery system, it would have a differential pricing than the existing vaccines that are being used in the Covid vaccination programme," he said.
"It will be introduced in the COVID-19 vaccination drive very shortly," Bhushan added.
As regards the WHO clearance for Covaxin, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said, "We know that scientific data, public health considerations and international health requirements are all considered on which the clearance is given by the WHO. All these have been provided and are being looked at. It will be decided by the World Health Organization accordingly."
ZyCoV-D has received the Emergency Use Authorisation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) and will be administered to people aged 12 years and above.
The Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V vaccines are being given to only those above 18 years of age and unlike ZyCoV-D, which is a three-dose vaccine, these are administered in two doses.
The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) had earlier said ZyCoV-D is the world's first DNA-based vaccine against the coronavirus and when injected into the human body, produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and elicits an immune response, which plays a vital role in protection from the disease as well as viral clearance.