New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the country is racing towards its aim to inoculate all adult population against the COVID-19 by the end of this month, the government’s mega vaccination drive is soon to get a shot in the arm with the introduction of Zydus Cadila’s DNA vaccine in its national vaccination drive.

As per the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, the government is in talks with the manufacturer to introduce the 3-dose needle-free vaccine, which will be priced at different rates as compared to the jabs given in the country presently.

Addressing a press briefing, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said, “Zydus vaccine will be introduced very soon. No date has been decided as yet. The pricing will be different from other jabs as it’s a three-dose vaccine. Talks are being held with the manufacturer on its pricing."

The Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) had on August 20 approved Zydus Cadilla’s indigenously-developed needle-free COVID-19 vaccine ZyCoV-D for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above. With the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), ZyCoV-D became the first vaccine to be administered to those in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.

India currently is vaccinating its people against COVID-19 by Oxford University and AstraZeneca vaccine, which is locally named Covishield, India company Bharat BioTech’s Covaxin and Russian COVID vaccine Sputnik V.

The Covishield is being provided for free at the state and Central government’s vaccination centres while private hospitals are charging Rs 740 for a single dose of Covishield. The same provision has been provided for Covaxin which is being given for free at state and Centre’s vaccination centres. However, private hospitals are charging Rs 1,410 for a single dose of Covaxin.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Sputnik V is not in the Centre’s national vaccination drive and is being only given at private hospitals across the country for Rs 1,145 for a single dose.

India recently gave a boost to its vaccination programme by approving the Zydus Cadila’s indigenously-developed 3-dose needle-free COVID-19 vaccine, which is also the first vaccine for those under 18. The ZyCoV-D vaccine is also the world's first DNA vaccine against Covid-19.

The government has also authorised Indian pharma company Cipla to import Moderna's vaccine, which has shown nearly 95% efficacy against Covid-19. Several more vaccines including Biological E’s vaccine are in various stages of approval.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan