India started its vaccine-drive on January 16th with two different immunizations, Covishield by Oxford-Astrazeneca and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech. Zydus Cadila has developed a needle-free COVID-19 vaccine that is also on the way.
The Gujarat-based pharma company has already applied for an emergency license to the Drug Controller of India. These needle-free Zydus vaccines could help us speed up the vaccination process for children and people averse to needles.
1. What is ZyCov-D?
Simply put the Zycov-D vaccines carry a genetic code of the coronavirus that triggers a response from the human immune system. It decodes the message and produces antibodies in the body.
This allows the individual to develop antibodies for the virus when they actually get infected.
2. How is it different from other available vaccines?
The ZyCov-D uses a pharmajet needle-free system. To administer the vaccine, it requires a single-use sterile syringe along with a reusable needle-free injector.
Health workers can press the reusable needle free injector in the ZyCov-D to the vaccination site and then apply pressure to inject the vaccine intradermally. According to Zydus Cadila, it is supposed to significantly remove any side-effects of the vaccine.
Zydus Cadila also mentioned that the plasmid DNA plug and play platform used to develop the vaccine can help adapt to future mutations.
3. How effective is the vaccine?
Needle-free Zydus vaccine is in phase III of development and it clinical trials have been conducted on 28,000 volunteers that also include a thousand test subjects. The age group is 12 to 18 across 50 different vaccination sites in the country.
As of now, the vaccine has shown 66.6% efficacy on RT-PCR positive cases with symptoms and 100% efficacy for moderate disease.
Once it gets approved, it will be available for ages 12 and above.
The development of the needle-free Zydus vaccine is a great step forward in the direction of complete vaccination across the country. It brings hope for a tomorrow that is new, yet normal, and not pulled back by today’s limitations.