Zydus Cadila conducts clinical trials on 300 children in Nashik

The trials among the volunteers were successful and there have been no reports of adverse effects.

Nashik: Indian drug-maker Zydus Cadila, in association with the Nashik-based HCG Manavata Cancer Centre, performed clinical trials of its plasmid DNA vaccine ZyCoV-D on 300 children in the 12-17 years age group in Nashik city.

A company official told TOI that the trials among the volunteers were successful and there have been no reports of adverse effects.

The official said the three-dose vaccine is administered without the use of needles. Needle-free imported injectors are used to push the medicine just 1mm under the skin unlike in the case of other vaccines where needles are used to push the medicine 1.5 inch into the muscles. He said the vaccine dose is also lower when compared to other Covid vaccines. Each Zydus Cadila vaccine dose is only 0.1 ml, against 0.5 ml of other vaccine doses.

“This is a DNA-based vaccine given in three shots over 56 days. It is effective even against the new Delta-plus variant. We have already applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking its approval for the vaccine’s emergency use and we are confident of getting the approval shortly,” the official said.

Dr Raj Nagarkar, the managing director of the HSG Manavata Cancer Centre, said the trials started in January 2021, and his daughter was one of the volunteers who took the vaccine. Dr Nagarkar added none of the volunteer children have shown any adverse effects.

“We have found positive results after the vaccination in the 12-17 age group. We found adequate antibodies among the children after the vaccination. At present, regular vaccination of the above-18 group is being conducted. However, given the third wave predictions, it is important to inoculate even those younger than 18 years,” he said.


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