2.37 lakh doses of ZyCoV-D vaccine get CDL clearance

2.37 lakh doses of ZyCoV-D vaccine get CDL clearance
© Provided by The Times of India

KASAULI: The Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) in Kasauli has cleared at least seven batches containing 2.37 lakh doses of India’s first DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D against Covid-19 based on safety, quality and efficacy parameters.

However, the supplies are not adequate and the government plans to stockpile ample doses before it starts administering the vaccine, official sources said.

“We have released initial seven batches with around 2,37,530 doses of ZyCoV-D. Samples from these batches were examined using safety and efficacy tests,” CDL Director Arun Bhardwaj said.

While Bhardwaj said that the lab does not have the prerogative to decide when the administration of the vaccine will begin or whether it can be used for children between 12-18 years of age, a senior regulatory official said it is unlikely to begin soon because of “extremely low production”.

The health ministry has placed a purchase order for one crore doses of Zydus Cadila’s three-dose Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D at Rs 358 per dose, exclusive of GST.

The government was initially expecting to start distribution of the jabs by December once supplies start coming. The government has also initiated training of vaccinators for administering the vaccine.

ZyCoV-D is also the first vaccine in the country which has been given emergency use authorisation for use in children between 12-17 years of age, apart from adults. Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V are being given to only those above 18 years of age.

However, owing to limited supplies and in the absence of guidelines, the government initially plans to roll out ZyCoV-D only for adults under the nation Covid immunisation programme.

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