India’s drug regulator on Friday approved Zydus Cadila’s three-dose COVID-19 DNA vaccine for emergency use in adults and children aged 12 years and above, bringing in the sixth vaccine authorised for use in the country.
The company said it plans to manufacture 100 million to 120 million doses of ZyCoV-D annually and has started to stockpile the vaccine.
The generic drugmaker, listed as Cadila Healthcare Ltd, applied for the authorisation of ZyCoV-D on July 1, based on an efficacy rate of 66.6 per cent in a late-stage trial of over 28,000 volunteers nationwide.
ZyCoV-D is the world’s first plasmid DNA vaccine against the coronavirus. It 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.
Meanwhile, India on Friday added 36,571 new coronavirus cases over while deaths from COVID-19 rose by 540. The country’s overall caseload now stands at 3.23 crore, while total fatalities are at 4.33 lakhs, according to the health ministry.
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Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has rejected a proposal by the Arvind Kejriwal government to set up a committee to establish the number of people who died during the second Covid wave due to a lack of medical oxygen, and award Rs 5 lakh monetary compensation to their families, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Friday. Sources close to Mr Baijal’s office, however, denied opposing any probe into the matter.
This is the second time Mr Baijal has dismissed a proposal of this nature; in June he refused the Delhi government permission to investigate nearly 40 deaths reported from two city hospitals.
“We sent the file to LG sahib…but he has again refused permission for an inquiry into deaths because of a lack of oxygen,” Mr Sisodia said Friday evening, adding that the Lieutenant Governor had said “there is no need to form any committee”.
No deaths due to a lack of oxygen have been reported in Haryana during the Covid pandemic, the state government informed the assembly on Friday.
In a written reply to a question, Health Minister Anil Vij said the state has reported a total of 9,665 Covid-related deaths till August 20.
“No deaths due to a lack of oxygen has been reported in the state,” Mr Vij said in his reply to a question by Congress MLA Aftab Ahmed who sought to know if anyone had died due to oxygen shortage amid the ongoing pandemic.
Ahmed asked the government to reveal the district wise deaths which occurred due to coronavirus pandemic from March 24, 2020 to July 31, 2021. He also asked the state government to disclose the district wise deaths due to lack of oxygen during the period.