Amid concerns at sudden spurt in Covid cases in China, the Union Health Ministry has approved Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine iNCOVACC for inclusion in the vaccination programme as a booster dose for those above 18 years of age.
About the vaccine-
- World’s first Intranasal Vaccine to receive both Primary series and Heterologous booster approval.
- Heterologous booster dose studies were conducted for safety and immunogenicity in ~875 subjects, with BBV154 intranasal vaccine administered post 2 doses of the two commonly administered COVID-19 vaccines. The trials were conducted at 9 trial sites across India.
- A recombinant replication deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phases I, II and III clinical trials with successful results. iNCOVACC® has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
- Developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and evaluated in preclinical studies for efficacy. Product development related to preclinical safety evaluation, large-scale manufacturing scale up, formulation and delivery device development, including human clinical trials were conducted by Bharat Biotech. Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology’s, COVID Suraksha Program.
- An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response – neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses.
- Immune responses at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa) – essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19.
- The nasal route has excellent potential for vaccination due to the organized immune systems of the nasal mucosa.
- Non-invasive, Needle-free.
- Ease of administration – does not require trained health care workers.
- Elimination of needle-associated risks (injuries and infections).
- High compliance (Ideally suits for children’s and adults).
- Scalable manufacturing – able to meet global demand.
Meanwhile, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will hold a meeting with the health ministers of the states and Union territories on Friday. India logged 163 new coronavirus infections, while the active cases declined to 3,380, the govt data stated on Friday.