Aug 21, 2021 - World

India approves world's first DNA-based COVID-19 vaccine

Illustration of a DNA helix on a face mask

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

India's drug regulator on Friday granted emergency approval to the world's first DNA-based coronavirus vaccine.

Driving the news: The three-dose, needle-free vaccine was developed by pharmaceutical company Zydus Cadila. The company added that it is also the first vaccine to be approved in the country for teens between the ages of 12 and 18.

How it works: The vaccine, known as ZyCoV-D, produces the spike protein from the coronavirus, which then elicits an immune response to combat the disease, Zydus Cadila explained.

  • The vaccine is considered to be approximately 67% effective, Bloomberg reports.
  • The company also claims that the vaccine is effective against virus variants, including the highly-contagious Delta variant.

The big picture: The vaccine is the sixth to be approved in the country. About 9.30% of the entire Indian population has been fully vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

By the numbers: India has reported a total of 32,393,286 confirmed coronavirus cases and 433,964 deaths, per JHU.

Go deeper