With the national rollout of Zydus Cadila’s Covid vaccine, ZyCoV-D just 2 weeks away, different batches of ZyCoV-D are undergoing a final round of quality checks at the vaccine testing laboratory in Himachal Pradesh.
NK Arora, chairman of the Centre’s Covid working group of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI) expressed that if everything works out as per their plan the vaccine will be introduced in the immunisation programme as early as October 15-16.
Around 1.5 lakh doses of Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D vaccine have cleared the quality test at Central Drugs Laboratory, in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, sources told CNN-News18, adding that the government is currently in negotiation with the manufacturers to bring down the commercial price of the jab.
The manufacturers have quoted a price of Rs 1,800 to 1,900 per dose, which the government feels is on the higher side for a three-dose vaccine, and wants a lower figure, the sources said.
As ZyCov-D is the first DNA-based and needle-free vaccine, its price range, compared to other jabs, is set to be higher. The special applicator that the vaccine requires costs Rs 35,000, driving up the price range of the vaccine dose.
The three-dose needle-free ZyCoV-D vaccine, manufactured by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila is based on the plasmid DNA technology and follows a three-dose regimen with a 28-day gap between each dose.
“Since it is a three-dose vaccine, we need to ensure availability of one crore doses each month for the next three months,” Arora added.
The vaccine will be the first in India to be administered to children in the age groups of 12-18 years.