Covid has been one of the deadliest nightmares of mankind. With so many people losing lives and so many struggling to get basic needs fulfilled, what worse we could have gone through, but with the development of covid vaccines things turned around in a very positive way. With time DNA vaccines also got introduced in the market, the first being ZyCov-D Vaccine.
What is ZyCov-D Vaccine?
Yes you heard the title correct, the ZyCov-D is a needle free vaccine that is insulated beneath the skin’s surface specifically into the Dermis, which is the layer between the outermost layers and the deeper layer of the skin. This unique vaccine is insulated into the human body without any use of needles, implying that you will have a painless experience. This unique effort not only minimizes the side effects and discomforts at location of injection but has also gained some popularity among the patients of diabetes, as this vaccine is commonly used in administration of insulin. ZyCov-D holds the renowned name of being the world’s innovative needle-free plasmid DNA vaccine designed specifically to combat with COVID-19.
As Per rajkotupdates.news : zydus needle free corona vaccine zycov d | Clinical Trials of this Vaccine:
Pre clinical trials –
In the month of Feb, year 2020, Cadila Healthcare the manufacturer of the vaccine came up with the idea of developing the DNA based covid vaccine in their Vaccine Technology Centre (VTC) which is based in Ahmedabad. The pre clinical trials on animals were successful. A report of these trials was made and was published in the journal Vaccine. After which permissions were given for phase 1 and phase 2 of human trials.
Phase 1 and 2 trials –
Phase 1 trials started in July 2020 and were continued till the month of October. The vaccine was tested on people of the age group ranging between 18-55 on around 48 individuals with a gap of 28 days between all the 3 doses. The trials were successful and the vaccine was found effective.
The phase 2 trials were started in August where around 1000 volunteers participated and the result was again successful.
Phase 3 trials –
In the month of Nov, Cadila made an announcement that it would do the third clinical trial on 30,000 people. Though, it took some time for them to get permission. In Jan, 2021 the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave permission to conduct this trial on 28,216 Indian participants ranging from the age group of 12–99.
Once the results of the phase 3 trials were out, Cadila announced that around 66% people with moderate or severe symptoms were cured and 100% people with mild symptoms were cured.
As per rajkotupdates.news : zydus needle free corona vaccine zycov d | Effectiveness of the Vaccine:
According to an interim study the three doses of this vaccine have been tested and found very effective in around 66% of the total people who have been vaccinated. This has been a huge achievement in history as the previous DNA vaccines have been found effective on animals but not on humans.
Working of this Vaccine:
As we know that DNA and RNA components present in our body are the building blocks of life. They are molecules which carry the genetic information which are passed from the parents to their children. Just like other vaccines, DNA vaccines also help the immune system of the body to fight the virus. ZyCoV-D makes use of plasmids or if we say in simple terms then it is small rings of DNA, which contains genetic information. This information gets delivered between the two layers of the skin.
These plastids carry information to the cells to make a protein known as spike protein which is used by the virus to enter the cells. Most of the covid vaccines function in a way where they give instructions to the body to make a fragment of the spike protein so that the person’s immune system can be triggered and it can produce antibodies to fight the virus.
How is this vaccine different from others?
This is the first vaccine of covid which is a DNA vaccine and has not to be injected in the body. Around 160 different DNA vaccines are being tested on humans in the USA, most of them are of cancer and some of HIV. ZyCoV-D is the first needle free covid vaccine of India.
Dr Gagandeep Kang who is a famous virologist and also the first woman from India to be elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London said that “To have a DNA vaccine which works against an infection is a big deal. If it gives good protection this is something India will be proud of”.
Authorization of the Vaccine:
In July 2021, Cadila Healthcare applied a request to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for the restricted use of this vaccine in emergency situations.
On 20 August 2021, the Subject Expert Committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) made a recommendation to the DCGI to grant approval for the usage and the DCGI without any further delay granted approval on the same day.
After a number of clinical trials and approvals, in the 2021, April the company started the production of this vaccine with a capacity of 240 million doses being produced on an yearly basis. COVID has taken a toll on all of our lives, but with the introduction of these vaccines things changed drastically and lives of millions have already been saved.