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First DNA Based Covid 19 Vaccine Bags Approval

The world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine against COVID-19 has been given emergency authorization by drug regulators for use in those aged 12 and above. The Drug Controller General of India granted emergency use authorization to the vaccine ZyCoV-D, a vaccine produced by India-based drugmaker Zydus Cadila and developed in partnership with India’s Department of Biotechnology.

The authorization makes ZyCoV-D the first vaccine available in India for those aged under 18. It is administered in three doses 28 days apart, using a needle-free applicator that delivers the vaccine contents painlessly in between the layers of the skin.

The vaccine contains plasmids, or circular pieces of DNA, which carry a section of genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The plasmids instruct human cells to make mRNA, which in turn instructs cells to make proteins that mimic the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein. The proteins appear on the surface of the cells, eliciting an immune response in the body, with the goal being to teach the body how to fight the real virus. Interim results from phase 3 clinical trials involving more than 28,000 volunteers showed an efficacy rate of 66.6 % against symptomatic COVID-19 cases.

Zydus Cadila, listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, seeks to manufacture 100 million to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D annually and has begun stockpiling the vaccine. It also plans to seek approval for a two-dose regimen of the vaccine. India has a vaccination program that seeks to have all eligible adults vaccinated by December. They are a valuable form of antigen-specific immunotherapy, as they are safe, stable, and can be easily produced.

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