A DNA vaccine against Covid-19 has been licenced by India’s medicinal authorities for emergency use.
After receiving three doses of ZycoV-D vaccine, 66 percent of individuals immunised were free of clinical disease, according to an interim research by vaccine maker Cadila Healthcare
A total of 120 million doses of the country’s second home-grown vaccine are expected to be produced annually by the company.
In the past, DNA vaccinations have been successful in animals, but not in people.
Over 570 million doses of three previously licenced vaccinations – Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V – have been administered in India.
Most adults have received at least one shot since the vaccination campaign began in January, with 13 percent fully immunised.
A spokesperson for Cadila Healthcare confirmed that it has performed the largest clinical trial for the vaccine in India to date, with 28,000 participants in more than 50 centres.
The Covid-19 vaccination was also tested for the first time in India on 1,000 young individuals in the 12-18 age group, according to the company. According to the study’s findings, this age group’s vaccination was “safe and well tolerated.”
Third-phase clinical trials were undertaken at the height of the second wave, when the virus had already killed thousands of people. “Effectiveness against mutant strains” was reinforced, according to the vaccine developer, especially the extremely contagious “Delta variant.”
Does this vaccine have any effect at all?
Building blocks of life, DNA and RNA. They are molecules that carry genetic information that is passed down from one generation to the next through parents and grandparents.
A DNA vaccine, like other vaccinations, teaches the body’s immune system to fight the real virus once it’s been injected.
For the ZyCoV-D injection, plasmids, or tiny DNA rings that hold genetic information, are used.
To generate the “spike protein”, the virus uses the plasmids to deliver information to the cells.
It is believed that the majority of vaccinations for Covid-19 operate by telling the body to generate a fragment of the spike protein so that the immune system can produce antibodies and learn how to fight the disease.
A DNA vaccination has what advantages?
Ø DNA vaccinations, according to scientists, are reasonably inexpensive, safe, and reliable.
Ø 2 to 8C is a good temperature range for them.
Ø “Good stability” at 25C for at least three months, according to Cadila Healthcare, would make it easier to carry and store the vaccine.
A DNA vaccination has what disadvantages?
Ø In the past, DNA vaccines for infectious diseases in humans have failed to prevent disease transmission.
Ø “It’s just a shame that they don’t work on humans. However, they don’t provide the same level of immune response protection in humans as they did in animals “Dr. Kang summed it up.
Ø To get the plasmid DNA into the human cell, Dr. Kang said, was a challenge.
Ø As did Dr Jeremy Kamil of Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
Ø “In the past, plasmid DNA vaccines have been tested. It is, however, well known that it is extremely difficult to introduce plasmid DNA into the nucleus of adult human cells “Dr. Kamil explained to me.
Ø In contrast, mRNA vaccines, which use messenger RNA to synthesise proteins, such as Pfizer or Moderna, do not need to reach the nucleus of the cell to be effective. They are more effective, have a greater efficacy, and are more likely to create long-lasting immunity.
Ø In addition, ZyCoV-D requires three doses instead of the two doses required by India’s two choices. According to the manufacturer, a two-dose jab is being tested out.
Ø “This is something I’d be thrilled about if someone could figure out how to make it work. However, it’s vital that the efficacy data be independently verified “Kamil, the doctor, agreed.