Zydus Cadilla hopes to scale up the production of the needle-free DNA vaccine to 4 to 5 crore doses annually, Zydus Group MD Sharvil Patel said.

A healthcare worker in a blue PPE suit and mask holding up a syringeImage for representation/ PTI
Health Covid-19 Vaccine Saturday, August 21, 2021 - 16:58

Pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila on Saturday, August 21, said that it is looking to supply its COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D by the middle to end of September, adding that the pricing of the dose will be announced in the next one or two weeks. The company's indigenously developed needle-free three-dose COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D was granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) by the drug regulator on Friday, making it the first vaccine to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-17 years in the country.

"Post the emergency use authorisation, now we will work closely with the regulatory authorities to work on the pricing and modality of delivery of the doses of our vaccine. In the next one or two weeks, we will have better clarity on the pricing," Zydus Group Managing Director Sharvil Patel said in a virtual press conference. The company hopes that "by middle to end of September, we can start supplying the vaccines; we need to scale up to 1 crore doses and we believe by October we can achieve this. We believe by October we will start producing 1 crore doses and that would mean by the end of January we can have 4 to 5 crore doses," he added.

When asked if the company was considering partnering with other firms to scale up production of its vaccine, Patel said Zydus Cadila is actively looking at ramping up manufacturing both domestically through partnerships and also outside of the country. The company is also seeking approval for a two-dose regimen of the vaccine, he added.

Describing the approval for Zydus Cadila's vaccine as a momentous feat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet on Friday had said, "India is fighting COVID-19 with full vigour. The approval for world's first DNA based ''ZyCov-D'' vaccine of @ZydusUniverse is a testimony to the innovative zeal of India's scientists. A momentous feat indeed."

ZyCoV-D is the sixth vaccine to get the emergency use authorisation in the country, after Serum Institute of India's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Russian vaccine Sputnik V and the vaccines of Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. Of these, Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V are currently in use in India. These vaccines are being given to only those above 18 years of age and unlike ZyCoV-D, which has three doses, these are administered in two doses.

Read: Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine gets Emergency Use Authorisation for those above 12 yrs

"This is a historic milestone with ZyCoV-D, a product of Indian innovation becoming the world's first DNA vaccine being offered for human use and supporting the world's largest immunisation drive," Cadila Healthcare Chairman Pankaj R Patel had said on Friday. The company plans to manufacture 10-12 crore doses of ZyCoV-D annually, Zydus Cadila had said in a statement.

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