ZyCoV-D gets EUA in India
GS Paper - 3 (Biotechnology)
The world’s first DNA-plasmid vaccine, the three-dose one for Covid-19 developed by Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila), has received emergency-use authorization (EUA) from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for use in adolescents 12 years old and above. This makes indigenously developed ZyCoV-D India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for this age group, and the vaccine has many firsts.
- It is based on DNA-plasmid technology; then, it can be administered using a needle-free injection system; and finally, it remains stable in room temperatures for three months.
- This is a three-dose vaccine whose second and the third doses are 28 and 56 days, respectively, after the first.
- Typically, in a needle-free injection system, a jet of fluid is accelerated to high speed, providing it significant penetrating power through a fine-diameter nozzle when placed against the skin.
- The DNA-based vaccine is the sixth jab against SARS-CoV2 to get emergency use authorization in India.
- So far, Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik V are available in India, whereas vaccines developed by Moderna and J&J have also been approved with emergency authorisation.
What is a DNA-plasmid vaccine?
- Conventional active vaccines are made from a killed or weakened form of the infectious agent.
- A DNA-plasmid vaccine is a relatively new approach where a piece of DNA containing the genes for the antigens is injected.
- The body then learns to develop an immune response against the antigen, and when the pathogen attacks, the body is able to generate the specific antibodies against it.