India’s first mRNA based Omicron-specific booster vaccine
Science & Technology
23rd Jun, 2023
India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine for the Omicron variant, GEMCOVAC-OM, developed by Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, was approved under emergency use guidelines by the Drug Controller General of India.
- The vaccine is the first booster Covid-19 vaccine developed in India against the highly transmissible Omicron variant
- The vaccine is a lyophilised (freeze dried) vaccine, stable at two to eight degrees Centigrade.
- The vaccines could be administered into the skin via a “needle-free” PharmaJet system.
What are mRNA vaccines?
- The mRNA vaccines use mRNA’s function as a protein information carrier to prompt the body to make specific proteins.
- In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the mRNA instructs the cells to produce the spike protein found on the outside of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- When the body’s immune system detects these foreign proteins, it produces antibodies and other immune cells to fight what looks like an infection.
- Then, if the immune system encounters that protein again in the future, it’s primed to mount a rapid response.
About messenger RNA (mRNA)
- Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a molecule that contains the instructions or recipe that directs the cells to make a protein using its natural machinery.