In a major development, Indian vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech’s own Nasal COVID vaccine got the nod from the DCGI for restricted use. This is the first nasal vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured in India. The vaccine manufacturer recently completed the clinical trials with 4,000 volunteers who reportedly showed no side effects or adverse reactions to the vaccine.

The development was confirmed by Union Health Minister Manuskh Mandaviya. “Big Boost to India’s Fight Against COVID-19! Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine approved by @CDSCO_INDIA_INF for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18+ age group for restricted use in emergency situation,” Dr. Mandaviya tweeted.

The nasal vaccine is Hyderabad-based pharma major’s first needle-free vaccine in India, and thus, is relatively easier to administer. On its website, the company has given a broad explanation of how the vaccine functions.

“An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response – neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses. Immune responses at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa) – essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19,” the company’s website reads.

The development comes after Bharat Biotech in August announced completing its clinical development of phase III trials of the BBV154 intranasal vaccine.  “BBV154 has proven to be safe, well-tolerated & immunogenic in subjects in controlled clinical trials”, Bharat Biotech had said during the announcement.

The Facts of the Matter

As the nation continues to inoculate more and more people against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, it has gotten another weapon in its armory in the form of a nasal vaccine. On Tuesday, the Indian health minister announced that the country’s drug regulator DCGI has given a green light to Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine for emergency use.


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Health Minister Shares New Development

Taking to Twitter, Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya wrote, “Big Boost to India’s Fight Against COVID-19! Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored) recombinant nasal vaccine approved by @CDSCO_INDIA_INF for primary immunization against COVID-19 in 18+ age group for restricted use in emergency situation.


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“Sabka prayas & science driven approach”

In a follow-up tweet, Dr Mandaviya also added that the inclusion of Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine will “further strengthen our collective fight against the pandemic”. “India has harnessed its science, R&D, and human resources in the fight against COVID-19 under PM @NarendraModi Ji’s leadership. With the science-driven approach & Sabka Prayas, we will defeat COVID-19,” he added.

Why Nasal Vaccine Are Important in Fighting COVID-19?

One of the ways COVID-19 spreads is by air, through large virus filled droplets, or through close contact, and often through smaller droplets also known as aerosols. The virus load then enters the human body through the nose.

Nasal vaccines will be administered to a person through their noses instead of their skins through injections. Through this, the dangerous load of virus inside the nose mucous can be targeted, and the spread of virus can be further curbed.


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How Does Bharat Biotech’s Nasal Vaccine Work?

On its website, Bharat Biotech has given a broad explanation on its internasal vaccine’s working. “An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response – 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,” the website reads.

 

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