New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As the world battles with the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns for immunization against the virus have increased manifold. National leaders across the globe are stressing the need to innoculate the world population to bring an end to the pandemic. In order to achieve this purpose, countries have speed up their vaccination drive and are also developing different vaccines that have higher efficacy and can be administered in all age groups including children- who are not vaccinated yet.

Addressing this concern at the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine-ZyCoV-D- that can be given to everyone above 12 years of age.

PM Modi said "Despite limited resources, India - which believes in the philosophy of "Seva Param Dharam" (service is the highest religion) - is completely invested in the development and manufacture of the vaccines." He also gave an open invitation to manufacturers across the world to come and make vaccines in India.

Here's everything you need to know about India's DNA vaccine:

What is ZyCoV-D?

ZyCoV-D is the world's first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus developed by Zydus Cadila- an Indian multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It is a three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine that was cleared by the drug regulator DCGA last month. It will be administered with an interval of 28 days between the first and second and second and third shots.

How effective is it?

As of July 1, 2021, Cadila Healthcare reported the efficacy of ZyCoV-D to be 66.6 per cent against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100 per cent against moderate or severe disease in its interim analysis of its phase 3 trial data. The vaccine cleaned all three clinical trials and is approved by DCGA for emergency use.

How does ZyCoV-D work?

ZyCoV-D uses a section of genetic material from the virus that gives instructions as either DNA or RNA to make the specific protein that the immune system recognises and responds to. No needle is used in this vaccine— instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.

When will the inoculation start and what will be the price?

The company- Zydus Cadila is expecteded to administer the first licensed shot of the ZyCoV-D vaccine from October. However, according to the government, the price remains a “clear issue”.

The price is also a clear issue. Talks are going on and a decision will soon be taken. With full preparation, it will become a part of the country's national vaccination programme. We are looking forward to receiving recommendations of the NTAGI on the beneficiary or target group to which the vaccine has to be given. The work is in progress and you will hear more about this in the times to come," said NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha