New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: India had started the COVID-19 vaccination drive, which is dubbed as the world's largest inoculation program, on January 16 after the DCGI approval to Covishield and Covaxin. The drive was later expanded to the general public with an aim to inoculate more and more people.

On Friday, the Health Minister further announced that pregnant women can also get vaccinated irrespective of the trimester. However, the Health Ministry has not yet expanded the drive for children.

However, the vaccination drive will soon be expanded for children in the age group of 2 to 18 years of age as Zydus Cadila has applied for emergency use authorisation to its COVID-19 vaccine 'ZyCoV-D'.

Once the vaccine is approved, ZyCoV-D will become the fifth vaccine in the country. Zydus Cadila DNA-based vaccine's ZyCoV-D is specially designed for kids between the age of 2 and 18 years.

As per the pharmaceutical company, the vaccine is strongly effective on the Delta Variant of the virus.

The vaccine consists of 3 ‘Needleless’ doses, after receiving the first dose; one has to wait for 28 days to receive the second dose. On the other hand, the third dose of the vaccine will be given after 56 days.

Since the vaccine is designed for kids, their comfort also plays an essential role that is the reason the vaccine is needleless, it will be given through a jet injector that causes less pain.

It is estimated that the vaccine will be available in India in July or August and 1 crore doses of the vaccine are being prepared. As per company directions, the vaccine needs to be stored at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius.

The efficacy rate of the ZyCoV-D is said to be 66.6 per cent in preventing the infectious virus. On the other hand, it is also being said that the vaccine is 100 per cent effective in preventing serious infection.

Posted By: Mallika Mehzabeen