What is ZyCov-D, the world’s first DNA vaccine for Covid?

Source: Indian Express

What is the News?

Zydus Cadila has applied to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) seeking emergency use authorisation (EUA) for ZyCov-D, its Covid-19 vaccine. If approved by the regulator, ZyCov-D will be the world’s first DNA vaccine against infection with SARS-CoV-2. 

What is ZyCov-D Vaccine?
  • ZyCov-D is a plasmid DNA vaccine, which means it uses a genetically engineered, non-replicating version of a type of DNA molecule known as a ‘plasmid’.
  • Developed by: ZyCov-D has been developed by Zydus Cadila with the support of the Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
How does the ZyCov-D vaccine work?
  • In this vaccine, the plasmids are coded with the instructions to make the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
  • Vaccination gives the code to cells in the recipient’s body, so they can begin making the spiky outer layer of the virus.
  • The immune system is expected to recognize this as a threat and develop antibodies in response.
How will the ZyCov-D be given?
  • Most Covid-19 vaccines currently are given in two doses. In contrast, ZyCov-D will be given in three doses, with an interval of 28 days between each dose.
  • Moreover, ZyCov-D is also an intradermal vaccine which means it is applied using a ‘needle-free injector’. Instead, a spring-powered device delivers the shot as a narrow, precise stream of fluid that penetrates the skin.
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