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Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine gets approval

  • Published
    29th Nov, 2022
Context
  • iNCOVACC (BBV154) an intranasal vaccine against coronavirus received approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under Restricted Use in Emergency Situation.


Details:

  • iNCOVACC has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops
  • Product development and clinical trials were funded in part by the Government of India.
  • The iNCOVACC has got approval for Restricted Use in Emergency Situations for all adults in India, for heterologous booster doses.

Heterologous booster vaccine: In heterologous boosting, a person is injected with a different vaccine from that was used for the primary dose.

About iNCOVACC:

  • Developed by: The vaccine was developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in partnership with Washington University, St Louis.
  • Working: It is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a prefusion stabilized spike protein.
    • It uses a modified chimpanzee adenovirus which cannot replicate in the body to carry Covid spike protein to induce immunity.
    • It triggers a response in the blood (B-cells: IgG and T-cells) by producing antibodies or seeking out and destroying the infected cells.
    • It also triggers the B cells that reside around mucosal tissues to make another type of antibody, called IgA. It plays a large role in destroying airway pathogens.
  • Usage: This vaccine will be used for primary immunization against COVID-19 in the 18+ age group for restricted use in emergency situations.
  • Storage: iNCOVACC is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution.

Intranasal Administration

  • For intranasal administration, the vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled nasally.
    • An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response thus, neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T-cell responses.
    • Immune responses at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa) are essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19.
  • According to experts, an intranasal vaccine can fight against the virus even before it tries to cross the body’s protective barrier.

Drawbacks of Nasal Vaccine

  • There is very little evidence to back the effectiveness of the nasal route of delivery.
  • A nasal Vaccine in the case of polio has caused disease after the weakened virus in the product got mutated.
  • Despite theoretical advantages, the intranasal approach to vaccination is largely unproven.
  • The concept has been tested quite extensively in animals, but on humans.

Benefits of iNCOVACC:

  • Likely to block both infection and transmission of COVID-19
  • Non-invasive and needle-free
  • Easy to administer as it does not require trained healthcare workers
  • Eliminates needle-associated risks (injuries and infections)
  • High compliance- ideally suits children and adults
  • Scalable manufacturing- able to meet global demand.
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