The first nasal Covid vaccination has received approval in India.
iNCOVACC, a product of Bharat Biotech, is a nasal drop that triggers an immune response in the tissues lining the nasal cavity.
A spray-based Covid vaccination for inhalation was authorized in China in September 2022.
In the lining of the nose and upper airways, where Covid generally enters the body, nasal vaccinations, according to scientists, may provide supplemental immunity.
Nasal spray vaccinations have also been the subject of investigation by research teams in the US and the UK.
The use of iNCOVACC as a heterologous booster dose in emergency settings for adults who had previously taken two doses of Covishied or Covaxin, the two major Indian vaccines, was approved by India’s drug regulator in November.
The drug regulator approved 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 online platform for 325 rupees per dosage in government hospitals and 800 rupees ($10; £8) each dose in private facilities. 28 days should pass between each dose.
As a vehicle for the genetic coding instructing the body how to combat the infection, iNCOVACC uses an adenovirus. The adenoviruses employed in the vaccines are benign 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.
Over 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.
India started providing boosters in January 2022 to frontline healthcare personnel, those over 60, and people with comorbid conditions. Later, it was made available to all adults. However, the administration of booster dosages has been happening slowly.