As India continues to record over four lakh COVID-19 cases per day, vaccines offer a beacon of hope. Last week, the government expanded the inoculation drive to allow all adults in the country to sign up. While there are two vaccines that are currently in use, Russia's Sputnik V has also been approved for emergency usage. Now, reports indicate that a fourth vaccine could soon join the fight against COVID-19 in India.
Ahmedabad based drug firm Zydus Cadila believes that its three dose vaccine, ZyCoV-D could soon receive emergency usage approval in India. According to reports that quote company MD Dr Sharvil Patel, Zydus is likely to to apply for emergency use authorisation this month and plans to produce one crore doses of the vaccine per month. The vaccine, he told India Today, is getting "very close to approval".
Earlier this year, in January, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the initiation of initiate Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine. The Ministry had said that Zydus Cadila completed Phase-I/II clinical trials of this DNA Vaccine candidate, in India, in more than 1,000 participants and interim data indicated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic when three doses were administered intradermally.
According to Patel, the company hopes to get the efficacy data in mid-May. "As soon as we see strong efficacy which correlates to the vaccine's strong immunogenicity in Phase 2, we will file for emergency use authorization. We hope to produce a good quantity of the vaccine from July onwards to make sure it is available to the people," he told the publication.
According to him, this is one of the largest vaccine trials held in India, with around 28,000 people being vaccinated as part of the trial. The trial had had also included children in the 12-17 age group.