Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine to be launched on 26 January; here’s all you need to know

Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine iNCOVACC will be launched on 26 January, news agency PTI has reported quoting company’s chairman and managing director Krishna Ella. 

While interacting with the students at the India International Science Festival in Bhopal, Ella also said that the homegrown vaccine for the lumpy skin disease in cattle, Lumpi-ProVacInd, is likely to be launched next month.

“Our nasal vaccine will be officially launched on January 26, on Republic Day,” Ella said, participating in the ‘Face-to-Face with New Frontiers in Science’ segment of the IISF, organised at the Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology (MANIT), as reported by PTI.

Here’s all you need to know about India’s first of its kind Covid vaccine:

The iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein. This vaccine candidate was evaluated in phase I, II and III clinical trials with successful results.

The vaccine was 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.

The intranasal vaccine is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution and has been designed for efficient distribution and easy pain free administration.

This vaccine 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.

According to the company, iNCOVACC is the world’s first intranasal vaccine for covid-19 to have received approval for a primary two-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose.

As a needle-less vaccine, iNCOVACC will be India’s first such booster dose.

India will now have more options when it comes to third doses or precautionary doses. 

INCOVACC’s manufacturing platform has the double benefit of enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal delivery that enables mass immunization to protect from emerging variants of concern

In December, Bharat Biotech had announced that it would sell the intranasal vaccine for 325 per shot for procurement by the government and 800 per shot for private vaccination centres.

A report published in Nature had pointed out that, “Intramuscular shots prompt an immune response that includes T cells, which destroy infected cells, and B cells, which produce antibodies that ‘neutralize’ pathogens. “

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