ANN/THE STAR – India has rolled out a COVID-19 nasal vaccine – among the first few in the world – as it seeks to ramp up its flagging vaccination numbers and raise alertness following a surge in coronavirus cases in neighbouring China.
The nasal drop vaccine – iNCOVACC – has been available for booking on CoWIN, the country’s vaccination portal, since December 24, and is expected to be administered to the public from the last week of January.
It was developed by Bharat Biotech, an Indian vaccine firm, in collaboration with scientists from Washington University in St Louis.
Eight drops (0.5 millilitres in total) will be administered – four drops in each nostril.
It will be administered as a booster for those aged above 18, and there are hopes that the needleless vaccine could help widen immunisation coverage.
Bharat Biotech has billed it as the “world’s first nasal drop vaccine”, and it was cleared for emergency use in early September.
Around the same time, China authorised the use of the world’s first inhaled vaccine, Convidecia Air. The dose is delivered through a puff of air from a nebuliser that is then inhaled by mouth.