Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19 vaccine jab could become an annual ritual: Zydus MD

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli and James Jose/London
Filed on July 1, 2021


Zydus Group has developed India’s first DNA vaccine and has applied for approvals.

Covid-19 vaccine could become an 'annual ritual' for us in the future, suggested Dr Sharvil Patel, Managing Director, Zydus Group, at the second day of the India Global Forum on Thursday. “I believe that the pandemic may go the flu way wherein we have to take regular jabs. Because of the mutations of the Covid virus, this can become an annual vaccination and require some sort of booster dose to be administered,” said Dr Patel.

Zydus Group has developed India’s first DNA vaccine and has applied for approvals from the Indian health authorities for emergency use by children and adults. “The vaccine has been tested in a three-dose format and has efficacy of 66.6 per cent. We have conducted trials on 28,000 people in India, which includes 1,000 children. The good part about the vaccine is, it is an intradermal application, and we have so far seen very good safety comparable to the placebo. No serious or adverse effects were reported.”

Dr Patel also mentioned that this vaccine is based on a nucleic acid platform, which makes it easily adaptable to the new strain. “We are on the verge of scaling up production for our new Delta variant as well.”

Talking about global vaccination programme, Dr Patel said, in the long-term, vaccines have to have affordability and accessibility if we are to immunise a large part of the world.

“I believe Indian companies have the capability to scale up manufacturing and innovate. Today, we have at least eight vaccines which are either approved or under development. And all these use four to five different technologies.”

India is emerging out of a very severe second wave of Covid-19 infections and has speeded up its vaccination process. More than 30 million people have been infected by the Sars-Cov-2 virus in the country and the country has been able to vaccinate tad more than 57.7 million people as on June 30 as per Our World in Data.

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