India’s first intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC has been launched in Hyderabad

The center launched India’s first nasal covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. The vaccine was named iNCOVACC and launched in Hyderabad by the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and technology minister Jitendra Singh.

The vaccine was launched on the occasion of Republic day and it has been developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited. The company is the global leader in creating and developing vaccines for many infectious diseases. It can be regarded as the world’s first covid-19 intranasal vaccine for the Primary series and can be used as a heterologous booster.

The vaccine has been approved by the government to be used as a booster dose which is currently taking place across the nation for the mass immunization program.

How does iNCOVACC- the covid 19 intranasal spray work?

iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored formulation that consists of a pre-fusion and stabilized Sars-Cov2- spike protein. The vaccine formulation showed successful results in the three trials conducted in a phased manner. The dosage has been specifically made to allow intranasal application through nasal drops.


The vaccine has been designed as a cost-effective preventative measure for lower and middle-income nations.
The vaccines can be administered to all individuals above eighteen years and will be available in private hospitals. At the same time, iNCOVACC has made its debut in the CoWin application. It is the first needle-less booster dose applicable for treating Covid-19 across the country.

Bharat Biotech has claimed that the iNCOVACC vaccine development platform can design faster development variant-specific vaccines and easy nasal passage that allows mass immunization to protect people from the new variants of the covid-19 virus.

The vaccines will be available at the price of 800 INR for each dosage in the private market and a price of INR 325 for the central and state governments. The total pricing could account for 1000 INR for the iNCOVACC vaccine if the 5 percent GST and administration charges are considered.

A scientific journal has stated that intra-nasal vaccines are capable to reduce the chances of mild covid. iNCOVACC can prove to be a game-changer in this aspect. The Journal has mentioned that the mucosal vaccines target the thin mucous membranes that form the lining of the nose, mouth, and lungs. The mucosal vaccines can prevent the mild causes of covid-19 and even the transmission to other people by prompting an immune response when the virus first enters the body. The capability has not been found in the covid-19 vaccines.

Vaccines that provide sterilizing immunity can prove to be a game changer in this segment.
More than 100 mucosal vaccines are being developed across the world. About 20 vaccines have undergone clinical trials in humans.

Oral and intramuscular vaccination is considered the only way of administering vaccines. But the nasal passage provides some advantages such as it allows the ease of self-administration and eliciting mucosal as well as systemic immunity. The nasal vaccines can comprise both liquid and dry formulations. The shortcoming in the utilization of the nasal vaccine is the selection of a suitable device to administer as the volume is very low. Several devices on the market depend on the number of doses to be administered and the formulation of the vaccines.

One of the major advantages is the fact that the nasal membrane is the main barrier for most microbes. As a result, it is no surprise that the mucous membrane is a component of immunity. It has been demonstrated that even fewer amounts of antigen can trigger an immune response. In addition, the intranasal vaccines provide mucosal ( providing immunity at the site of infection) as well as systemic immunity.

Secondly, the nasal cavity is easily accessible. Thus, the doses can be administered easily. Apart from that, they are less invasive and cause a little amount of discomfort to the patients. It is a crucial factor because many patients fear injections because they are associated with pain and the transmission of diseases. Sometimes, anaphylactic symptoms can even take place. Intranasal vaccinations can be a game changer for the following groups of people: children, elderly patients, and HIV-infected patients.

inCOVACC will not be restricted to individuals who have received two doses of covishieldCOVID-Only 2 Covishield Doses, Not One, Effective Against The B.1.617.2 COVID-19 Variant or covaxin. The doses will not be administered to any other category as of now and have been called heterologous booster doses.
India has taken a giant leap in the pharmaceutical industry with the development of the intranasal vaccine iNCovacc. However, its efficacy and side effects are yet to be seen when administered to masses.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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