Zydus Covid-19 vaccine doses may be out soon for adolescents: Govt

The Centre informed the Supreme Court in an affidavit that a new Covid-19 vaccine would be available soon for adolescents (12-18 years) from Zydus Cadila.

It also said that 1.35 billion doses would be needed to vaccinate the adult population August onwards, it expects availability of the same. This is a downward revision of the earlier estimate of 2.1 billion doses that the Centre had indicated it expects between August December.

“It is submitted that Zydus Cadila, which is developing DNA vaccines, has concluded its clinical trial for those between the age group of 12 to 18 years subject to the statutory permissions, the same may be available in near future for children of the age group of 12 to 18 years,” the Centre said in an affidavit to the top court.

A source in Zydus Cadila informed that the company plan to submit a formal application for approval of its vaccine soon.

1.35 bn doses between August December

In the affidavit, the Centre said 1.86-1.88 billion doses are needed to vaccinate the adult population of 930-940 million.

Of these, 516 million doses will be made available by July 31, leaving a requirement of approximately 1.35 billion doses to complete the vaccination to the eligible population.

“It is submitted that this figure of 186.6 crore (1.87 billion) does not include other vaccines which are at various stages of development as on date within the country may come become available,” it said.

The Centre said that 346 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been procured so far. Of these, 266 million doses are of Covishield, 80 million doses are of Covaxin.

Additionally, another 10 million doses have come from Covax, taking the total availability to 356 million doses. Apart from this, the Centre said it expects around 160 million doses between May July.

The Government of India is making attempts to procure vaccines made outside India such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna.

Out of the 1.35 billion doses, 500 million doses will be of Covishield, 400 million doses of Covaxin. The government expects 100 mn doses of Russian made Sputnik-V. Another 300 million will come from Biological E subunit vaccine, 50 mn doses from Zydus Cadila.

As on May 13, the MoHFW had estimated 750 mn doses of Covishield, 550 million doses of Covaxin, 156 million doses of Sputnik V, apart from 200 mn doses of Novavax vaccine (made here by Serum Institute) 100 million doses of the nasal vaccine from Bharat Biotech, 60 million doses of Gennova’s mRNA vaccine 50 mn doses of DNA-plasmid vaccine of Zydus.

Now Novavax, Gennova mRNA Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccines have been scrapped off the list availability of doses from SII Bharat Biotech for Covishield Covaxin have been revised downwards.

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