World’s first nasal Covid vaccine INCOVACC set to roll out


Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine has been approved as a booster dose in India. The nasal covid vaccine will be available at private centers once it is introduced on CoWIN this evening.


“The government of India has approved the nasal vaccine. It will be used as a heterologous booster and will be available first in private hospitals. It will be included in the Covid vaccination program from today,” official sources said earlier in the day.


The nasal vaccine can only be taken by those who have taken the two doses of vaccine already, Dr Mahajan said.


“The government has made it clear that the approval given currently is for this vaccine to be used only as a precautionary dose in those above 18. So if you have already taken a precautionary dose, you cannot avail of this. It is only for those who have taken two doses, either of Covishield or Covaxin or, in some cases, the Sputnik V, are eligible for this precautionary dose. Only about 30 percent of the people with both doses got the precautionary dose and as it appeared that Covid had gone down, people hesitated. So those are the people who are eligible,” he said.


“Even though it is easy to administer, this will only be available through the CoWin platform and in designated private and government hospitals and institutions which are on the CoWin platform. So you will have to go to that location and get the dose. Of course, the administration is easy. Also, it has to be stored at a temperature between two to eight degrees Celsius, which is the normal refrigerator temperature, and has to be used once opened and out of the refrigerator within six hours. During that time, it has to be stored at the same temperature,” Harsh Mahajan said.


“The advantage of this vaccine is that it will provide a very broad spectrum of immunity and also local immunity, which is in the nasal passage itself, lowering the rate of infection in people who take this. The rate of transmission will also come down. In that sense, the nasal vaccine could be more effective than the others. But we need more data on the duration for which it provides immunity and we will get that over time,” Dr Mahajan said.


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