Discussion on pricing of Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine going on, decision soon: Dr VK Paul

New Delhi [India], September 14 : The discussion on the pricing of Zydus Cadila’s COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D is underway, said Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) NITI Aayog on Tuesday.
“The discussion on the pricing of ZyCoV-D is ongoing. A decision will be taken soon. We are looking to include this vaccine in the national vaccination program,” said Dr Paul in an exclusive interview with ANI. Country’s drugs regulator Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) approved the Zydus Cadila’s vaccine for emergency use on August 20. According to sources, ZyCoV-D, a needle-free coronavirus vaccine, is likely to be available by early October. It is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine for Covid-19. It’s a three-dose vaccine that will be administered on day zero, day 28, and day 56. The vaccine has been approved to be administered to adolescents between ages 12 and 18.
In an effort to expand the pool of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, Dr Paul said that Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company, Biological E’s COVID-19 vaccine Corbevax and COVID-19 mRNA vaccine are in the final stages of trial.
“The other two vaccines are Biological E’s COVID-19 vaccine, Corbevax, which is in the final stages of trial. Its manufacturing is already going on. Likewise, we have a fascinating mRNA vaccine from Genova. It is also in the final stages of the trial and this will also be available before the end of the year,” said the NITI Aayog member.
He also said, “Bharat BioTech’s nasal vaccine and also US firm Novavax’s vaccine developed outside will now be stockpiled by Serum Institute of India. The emergency use authorisation (EUA) of this vaccine has not yet happened but our trials are near completion. So this will be another additional vaccine to the portfolio.”
Presently, Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V vaccines are being administered to the eligible population above 18 years.
Dr Paul further said, “The other vaccines, which are already in the portfolio include Sputnik V. Progress has been somewhat slow, because this is a vaccine developed elsewhere. The technology is being transferred here. Sputnik V has been administered to about 8-9 lakh individuals already.”
He added, “The availability of a pool of different vaccines is important because if the virus tries to play tricks with one form of vaccine, then at least we have other vaccines. Therefore, significant developments are now emerging. We are reaping the fruit of the hard work that has been done by the research and development teams as well as the industry, and all the effort that the government has put in, in this regard.”
India on Monday surpassed a “milestone” by surpassing 75 crore mark of India’s cumulative COVID-19 vaccination coverage.
Dr Paul lauded the achievement of the country and said, “We are very proud. This achievement has been on the shoulders of two vaccines, which are being manufactured in India – Covishield and Covaxin. Of these, Covaxin is developed in India.”

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