India's Zydus Cadila applies for emergency-use nod for Covid-19 vaccine

BENGALURU (REUTERS) – Indian drugmaker Zydus Cadila said on Thursday (July 1) it has applied to the country’s drug regulator for emergency-use approval of its Covid-19 vaccine and that it plans to manufacture up to 120 million doses of the shot annually.

Coronavirus cases in India dropped from a devastating peak in April and May. However, experts have warned of a third wave and reiterated that widespread vaccination remains one of the best defences against the pandemic.

An approval for Zydus’ vaccine, ZyCoV-D, would make it the fifth vaccine authorised for use in India, after Moderna, AstraZeneca and partner Serum Institute of India’s Covishield, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, and Sputnik V developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Institute.

ZyCoV-D showed safety and efficacy in a late-stage trial with more than 28,000 volunteers across the country, including about 1,000 in the 12- to 18-year-old group, Zydus said.

The study was carried out “during the peak of second wave of Covid-19 (in India), reaffirming the vaccine’s efficacy against the new mutant strains especially the Delta variant”, Zydus said in a statement.

On Thursday, India reported 48,786 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed, with the active caseload at 523,257.

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