Sources said on Sunday that Zydus Cadila has agreed to cut the price of a Covid-19 vaccine to Rs 265 a dose after continuous negotiations by the government, but no final agreement has been reached yet. To administer the needle-free ZyCov-D vaccine, a painless, disposable jet applicator is required at a cost of Rs 93 per dose, which will bring the price to Rs 358 per dose.

A source had said that the Ahmedabad-based drugmaker had earlier suggested a price of Rs 1,900 for the three-dose system. โ€œThe company has lowered the price to Rs 358 per dose which includes Rs 93, the cost of a disposable jet applicator, after repeated negotiations by the government… A final decision is likely to be made on the matter this week,โ€ a source familiar with the developments said. PTI Agency.

The three doses should be given 28 days apart, with each dose containing a syringe in both arms. The world’s first locally developed, needle-free COVID-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, received an emergency use authorization from the drug regulator on August 20, making it the first vaccine given to those 12 years of age and older.

Meanwhile, the government is still awaiting recommendations from the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) to introduce ZyCoV-D into the vaccination campaign for adults and children with co-morbidities. NTAGI will provide the protocol and framework for introducing this vaccine into the COVID-19 immunization campaign.

Official sources had previously stated that pricing for ZyCoV-D would be different from Covaxin and Covishield because apart from being a three-dose vaccine, it requires a special jet-injector that must be used to give the vaccine. This jet injector can be used to administer about 20,000 doses.

The source said, “The injection jet helps the vaccine liquid to penetrate the skin to enter the recipient’s cells.” The government is currently procuring two more vaccines – Covishield at Rs 205 per dose and Covaxin at Rs 215 per dose – for the national COVID-19 immunization programme.

Covishield, Covaxin, and Sputnik V are only given to people over 18 years of age and, unlike ZyCoV-D, these are two-dose regimens.

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