Zydus Cadila vaccine likely to seek 2-dose approval, not 3

Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be included in the national vaccination drive from Saturday, according to Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan. Officials said negotiations between the Centre and the vaccine maker about the price and supply are in the final stages. 

Sources said ZyCoV-D, approved by the drug regulator in August, is likely to be the most expensive Covid-19 vaccine to be procured by the government as it has to be administered in three doses and needs a special applicator instead of a syringe.

“ZyCoV-D will be administered on Day 0, Day 28 and Day 56 using an applicator costing Rs 25,000, which can be used for 10,000 people,” said an official, adding that the government will have to buy the equipment along with the vaccine. 

ZyCoV D has also been approved for inoculating 12-17 year-olds. Being a needle-free vaccine, it ensures painless vaccine delivery.  Nearly 1 crore doses of the vaccine are expected to be available in October.