Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya and Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh today launched the world's first COVID-19 intranasal vaccine, iNCOVACC. Developed by India's Bharat Biotech, the vaccine will be available to the government for Rs 325 per dose, while it will cost Rs 800 to private hospitals.
The company, in December 2022, got the approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose. Before that, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) had approved the restricted use of the intranasal vaccine in emergency situations in the age group of 18 and above.
Two doses of the vaccine are to be given 28 days apart.
The nasal vaccine cannot be administered to those who have taken a precaution or booster dose, the head of the country's vaccine task force told NDTV last month, a week after the vaccine was introduced on the CoWin platform.
As per the vaccine maker Bharat Biotech, one can book an appointment for the intranasal vaccine dose by visiting the CoWin website.
iNCOVACC was developed in partnership with the Washington University, St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and evaluated in preclinical studies for efficacy.
Product development related to preclinical safety evaluation, large-scale manufacturing scale up, formulation and delivery device development, including human clinical trials were conducted by Bharat Biotech.
Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India through the Department of Biotechnology's Covid Suraksha programme.