First nasal COVID vaccination released in India by Bharat Biotech

Image credit: BBC

The first nasal COVID vaccination is authorised in India. The iNCOVACC nostril drops, produced by Bharat Biotech, trigger an immunological response in the cells lining the nasal cavity.

A COVID vaccination that is delivered as a spray and is intended to be breathed was licenced by China in September 2022.

According to researchers, the wall of the nose and upper passages, where COVID normally enters the body, may benefit from the additional immunity provided by nasal vaccines.

The effectiveness of nasal spray vaccinations has also been studied by research organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The use of iNCOVACC as a recombinant booster dose in emergency conditions for grownups who had previously taken two doses of Covishield  or Covaxin, the two major Indian vaccines, was approved by India’s drug regulator in November.

The drug regulator authorised it in December for use in adults as a main vaccine and as a follow-up booster dose.

The vaccination can be ordered through the government’s digital site for 325 rupees per dose in government hospitals and 800 rupees ($10; £8) per dose in private facilities. 28 days should pass between each dose.

As a vector for the genetic code instructing the body how to combat the infection, iNCOVACC uses an adenovirus. The adenoviruses employed in the vaccination are mild transporters that have been altered to prevent infection and replication.

The vaccination was “simple to distribute” because it didn’t require a syringe or needle, according to Dr. Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, and it elicited a greater immune response than injectable Covid vaccines.

Nearly two billion COVID shots have been given in India thus far. According to the federal health ministry, more than 70% of Indians have ingested at least two doses.

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