Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine against COVID-19, which can be administered to all people above the age of 12 years.
'India, which lives on Sewa Paramo Dharma (service is the main duty), is engaged in vaccination development and manufacturing despite limited resources. I want to inform UNGA that India has developed the world's first DNA vaccine, which can be administered to all people above the age of 12 years,' Modi said, addressing the 76th United Nations General Assembly session in New York.
Last month, the Drugs Controller General of India gave Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Zydus Cadila's indigenously developed needle-free COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, which is to be administered to beneficiaries in the age group of 12-18 years in the country.
'Another mRNA vaccine is in its late stages of development. Scientists in India are also engaged in the development of a nasal vaccine for Corona. Realising its responsibility towards humanity, India has once again started giving vaccines to the needy of the world. I also invite vaccine manufacturers from all over the world today to- Come, Make Vaccine in India,' the prime minister said.
Mourning the loss of lives lost due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the PM also reiterated India's commitment to start giving vaccines to needy persons in other countries, even as he gave a clarion call to manufacturers to 'Come, Make Vaccine in India'.
'For the last one-and-a-half years, the whole world is facing the biggest pandemic in 100 years. I pay homage to all those who lost their lives in such a terrible pandemic and extend my condolences to the families,' Modi said.
India's vaccine delivery platform, COWIN, is providing digital support for hundreds of millions of vaccine doses in a single day, he said.
India had stopped the export of Covid-19 vaccines after the second wave of the pandemic hit the country hard in April this year.
On Monday, India said it will resume export of surplus Covid-19 vaccines in the fourth quarter of 2021 under the 'Vaccine Maitri' programme and to meet its commitment to the COVAX global pool.
ZyCoV-D when injected, produces the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and elicits an immune response, which plays a vital role in protection from coronavirus as well as viral clearance.
The 'plug-and-play' technology on which the plasmid DNA platform is based can be easily adapted to deal with mutations in the virus, such as those already occurring.
The vaccine has a 66-per cent efficacy and it is to be stored in a temperature range of two to eight degrees Celsius.
The vaccine is needle-free, to be administered intradermally in three doses at days 0, 28 and 56. It is administered using PharmaJet, an applicator that ensures painless intradermal vaccine delivery.
According to Johns Hopkins university data, the deadly virus has so far infected 231,154,501 people and killed 4,737,927 globally.