India gets its first intranasal COVID vaccine, iNCOVACC

India gets its first intranasal COVID vaccine, iNCOVACC

India got its first intranasal COVID 19 vaccine iNCOVACC on the 74th Republic Day. On Thursday, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh 2023 introduced the first intranasal COVID 19 vaccine, developed by Bharat Biotech. iNCOVACC is the world's first Intranasal vaccine for Covid to receive approval for the primary 2 dose schedule. It is given a go-ahead as a heterologous booster dose. It is administered as nasal drops.

iNCOVACC is being rolled out as a booster dose for people over 18 years of age. The vaccine can be purchased at government hospitals and centres for Rs 325 per shot and at private vaccination centres for Rs 800 per shot.

iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilised spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phase I, II and III clinical trials with successful results. The nasal vaccine was developed in partnership with Washington University St Louis, which has designed and developed it. It has also been evaluated in preclinical studies for its efficacy.

The chairman and managing director of Bharat Biotech, Dr Krishna Ella, said earlier that the nasal vaccine can be a '' global game changer. We are proud to announce the approval of iNCOVACC, a global game changer in intranasal vaccine technology and delivery systems. We have continued product development in intranasal vaccines to make sure we are well prepared for future infectious diseases, despite the lack of demand for Covid-19 vaccines. Bharat Biotech has carried out product development related to preclinical safety evaluation, large-scale manufacturing scale-up, formulation and delivery device development, including human clinical trials.

The Government of India funded the development and clinical trials through the Department of Biotechnology's specialised programme Covid Suraksha.

It is exciting to see the deployment of iNCOVACC in India as a nasally-delivered vaccine and booster, said Dr Michael S. Diamond, MD, PhD, of Washington University in St. Louis, who co-developed the nasal vaccine technology with his Washington University colleague Dr David T. Curiel.

He added that new strategies to overcome transmission are needed because of the continued waves of COVID 19 infection. By generating immunity in the upper respiratory tract at the portal of entry of the virus, this vaccine has the potential to limit the spread of the disease than other approaches. The vaccine technology was licensed by Washington University to Bharat in 2020 for further development. Nasal vaccines can be more effective at preventing infections because the shots target the mucosal linings of the nasal airways, which is the point of entry for the coronaviruses. The vaccine can block the transmission of the virus in the upper and lower respiratory tracts by protecting these linings. INCOVACC is recommended as the first booster shot. The vaccine will be administered twice to people with a gap of 28 days.