India's first nasal vaccine (Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVACC) for Covid-19 gets DCGI nod for emergency use.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the country’s first intra-nasal Covid-19 vaccine Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVACC for restricted emergency use in those aged above 18 years.
It’s only the second vaccine in the world, after CanSino Biologics’ vaccine in China, to get regulatory approval.
Around 100 mucosal (nose and mouth) Covid-19 vaccines are under development across the world.
What is a nasal vaccine?
A nasal vaccine is a vaccine administered to a person via the nose and does not require a needle. It induces immunity through the inner surface of the nose, a surface that naturally comes in contact with many airborne microbes.
Bharat Biotech’s iNCOVACC:
The vaccine has been developed by Bharat Biotech with technology in-licensed from Washington University-St Louis.
iNCOVACC is a chimpanzee adenovirus vectored recombinant nasal vaccine that has been specifically formulated to allow intra-nasal delivery through nasal drops.
The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
The vaccine is stable at 2-8°C.
Mode of working of the nasal vaccine:
Significance of Mucosal Vaccines:
Spillover antibodies: It has the potential to induce local (mucosal) immunity at the point of entry of the virus. It could ensure the presence of spillover antibodies on the nasal mucosa. The nasal area is the spot through which the Sars-CoV-2 virus enters the body.
No need for Needles: With the vaccine being delivered through a nasal spray, it will do away with the need for needles and syringes currently required for all the Covid-19 vaccines available.
No need for trained staff: It will also reduce dependence on personnel trained to give shots.