Zydus Cadila, whose Covid vaccine ZyCoV-D for adults and children aged 12 and above received FDA approval yesterday, said on Saturday that it hopes to reach a monthly production capacity of one crore doses by October.
Cadila Healthcare managing director Sharvil Patel predicted that his company would manufacture 3-5 crore pills by December-January, but that it would not be able to achieve the government’s commitment of 5 crore doses from August to December.
According to Mr. Patel, the company is in negotiations with several third-party companies about forming a production alliance and transferring knowledge. He claims that the vaccine pricing will take into account new technology and distribution methods.
The three-dose vaccination, which was produced in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology, is India’s second home-grown vaccine to receive emergency approval, following Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. It is the country’s sixth vaccine to be approved for usage.
In July, the pharmaceutical company announced that its vaccination is effective against the new coronavirus mutations, particularly the highly transmissible Delta type. The shot is given with a needle-free applicator rather than standard syringes, according to the company.
Cadila Healthcare Ltd, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, sought ZyCoV-D approval on July 1 based on a 66.6 percent efficacy rate in a late-stage trial involving over 28,000 volunteers across the country. Zyvox-D is the first plasmid DNA coronavirus vaccine in the world.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) warned that when it comes to vaccines for public health, caution should be exercised because no developed country has yet employed a DNA vaccine in people.
“The Zydus Cadila vaccine getting emergency approval is a moment of celebration for Indian science. However, before it is administered in children, it should be given to young, healthy adults. None of the DNA vaccines, as yet, have been used in human beings in developed countries and efforts are underway to improve their immunogenicity and efficacy. It is an unfamiliar platform and I have not seen Zydus Cadila’s clinical trial data. Some caution is required in its public health use,” said Dr. Simran Panda, ICMR Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases.