By Express News Service
NEW DELHI: The availability of a special applicator required to administer Covid vaccine by Zydus Cadila is delaying its launch in the country, government officials have said. ZyCoV-D is the first Covid vaccine in India to be approved for 12-17 year age group apart from adults. The government had intended to launch it on October 2 for giving an impetus to the ongoing national Covid vaccination drive.
“However, first there was delay owing to the price negotiation between the government and the company and then there was the issue of availability of applicators as the vaccine needs to be administered intradermally,” said a source in the Union health ministry.
The source added that the applicator which costs about Rs 30,000 and can be used for about 20,000 doses should be available in India by this week, paving the way for the vaccine’s launch. The applicators are being produced by Pharmajet and are not made in India.
The Ahmedabad-based company had projected the vaccine as a painless vaccine that has to be administered in three doses. The firm, though has not published data from the phase 3 trials of the DNA based vaccine yet, has claimed that it was about 67 % effective in reducing Covid, including that caused by Delta variant.