Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine cleared for use

A nasal vaccine against Covid-19, developed by Bharat Biotech, has been approved by the drug controller, for “restricted use” among adults “in emergency situation”, said Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya.

Big Boost to India’s Fight Against COVID-19!

“India has harnessed its science, research and development, and human resources… under PM Narendra Modi’s leadership,” the minister said.

In February, in what was the country’s first such anti-Covid drug, Mumbai-based Glenmark launched a nasal spray (branded FabiSpray) in partnership with SaNOtize, for treatment of adult patients.

The company got manufacturing and marketing approvals from the Drugs Controller General of India for its Nitric Oxide Nasal Spray as part of an accelerated approval process. “Phase 3 trial in India met the key endpoints and demonstrated reduction of viral load of 94 per cent in 24 hours and 99 per cent in 48 hours,” the official statement said.

As for the pandemic status today, India saw a single-day rise of 4,417 coronavirus infections, which is the lowest in three months, as per government data updated at 8 am on Tuesday. 

Active Covid cases have declined to 52,336, while there were 23 fatalities reported.

ased on the novel adenovirus vector, BBV154 is an intranasal vaccine for COVID-19 which stimulates a broad immune response neutralising IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses. Most importantly, it is effective for blocking both infection and transmission of the coronavirus. As this vaccine is non-invasive and needle-free, it eliminates injuries and infections and trained healthcare workers are not required to administer it. A total of 400 and 650 individuals participated in its Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials held last year।

Elaborating on the intranasal vaccine, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Dr.Krishna Ella told Republic TV, “If you take one dose of nasal vaccine you could block the infection and thereby block the transmission chain and then you can flatten the curve. It is just about 4 drops like Polio, 2 in one nostril and 2 in the other. Now global authorities like the WHO are getting convinced about nasal as a second-generation vaccine.”

Vaccination in India

The country’s vaccine drive against COVID-19 commenced on January 16, 2021, with healthcare workers getting inoculated in the first phase. This was opened up to frontline workers on February 2, 2021, while those aged above 60 and above 45 with co-morbidities became eligible for vaccination from March 1, 2021. While everyone aged above 45 could get vaccinated from April 1, 2021, all adults were added to the vaccination coverage category on May 1, 2021. In a huge achievement, India completed administering one crore coronavirus vaccine doses on October 21, 2021. 

While vaccination of children aged between 15 and 18 started from January 3, the rollout of the ‘precaution dose’ of the vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers, and persons aged above 60 having co-morbidities commenced on January 10. Apart from Covishield and Covaxin, the Drugs Controller General of India has approved Sputnik V, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D, Corbevax and Covovax. A total of 1,02,49,79,224 citizens have been inoculated while  94,38,23,973 of them have received the second dose too.

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