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Centre orders 1 cr needleless shots of Zydus Cadila vaccine

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 7

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted officials to scale up door-to-door Covid vaccination to achieve full adult inoculation target by the year-end, the Health Ministry this week ordered one crore doses of the world’s first and India’s indigenously developed DNA-based shot ZyCOV D developed by Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila.

The order was placed after the pharma firm said it could deliver one crore shots a month. Sources said the inclusion of ZyCOV D in India’s inoculation programme, alongside Covaxin and Covishield, would help expand the vaccination drive with 77 per cent adults having received the first dose, but the second dose coverage hovering below 35 per cent.

Sources said the government had negotiated the purchase order at Rs 358 a dose for the three-dose regime.

The per dose cost is non-inclusive of taxes, but it covers the cost of a needleless applicator that would be used to administer the three shots at a difference of 28 days each. ZyCOV D is a needleless vaccine.

Ministry sources said the shot would be delivered to adults first in the spirit of scientific priority. ZyCOV D is the first shot Indian regulator approved for use in children and persons aged 12 and above.

The National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, the apex body that guides Indian vaccination policy, is, however, yet to take a call on vaccination of children with the WHO guidance on the matter pending too.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has also repeatedly stressed that child inoculations would have to be guided by science and evidence as would be boosters. ZyCOV D availability will boost vaccine supplies even though states continue to sit on unused stocks amounting to nearly 16 crore.

10,853 fresh cases

TOTAL DEATHS 4,60,791

ACTIVE CASES 1,44,845

526 deaths in 24 hours

Cost Rs 358 a dose

The govt has negotiated the purchase order at Rs 358 a dose for the three-dose regime
Per dose cost is non-inclusive of taxes, but it covers the cost of a needleless applicator
ZyCOV D is the first shot Indian regulator approved for use in children and persons aged 12 and above

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