Bharat Biotech manufactured iNCOVACC, which is the world’s first intranasal vaccine for Covid-19, is expected to be available in the hospitals by end of January. The vaccine will be first available only at corporate hospitals in the major cities as demand for booster doses is still low, a report in Moneycontrol stated.
On Monday, India recorded 114 new coronavirus infections. The active cases declined to 2,119, as per data shared by the Union Health Ministry. The Covid case tally was recorded at 4.46 crore (4,46,81,154). The death toll stands at 5,30,726, the data updated at 8 am stated. The national Covid recovery rate increased to 98.80 per cent, the ministry said.
The Association of Healthcare Providers of India (AHPI), the largest body of private hospitals in the country, has said that only major corporate hospitals have been asking Bharat Biotech to send the vaccine, that too in small quantities, as per the report.
“The new nasal booster dose’s demand has not risen exponentially despite the COVID-19 scare in China. Some big hospitals, with 100 beds or so, have requested small quantities of the vaccine in the beginning,” said Girdhar J Gyani, director general of the AHPI.
He added that two doses of the vaccine would cost around nearly Rs 2,000, and perhaps because of the high price, the demand may remain low, Gyani added.
In December 2022, India released the first nasal Covid-19 vaccine for public use. Bharat Biotech received approval for iNCOVACC (BBV154) from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) as the nasal booster dose in November.
Initially, Bharat Biotech announced that the vaccine will be available at Rs 800 per dose in the private market and Rs 325 for state governments. The Centre has already said that it does not plan to administer the intranasal vaccine in public hospitals for now.
The nasal vaccine by Bharat Biotech is a heterologous booster. A heterologous booster includes administering a different vaccine than that of the primary vaccine.
Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein and can be easily stored and distributed at 2-8 degree Celsius.
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