Union Health Minister unveils world’s first intranasal COVID19 vaccine, iNNCOVACC

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Union Health Minister unveils world’s first intranasal COVID19 vaccine, iNNCOVACC

Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya on 26 January unveiled world’s first intranasal COVID-19 vaccine, iNNCOVACC in New Delhi.

An overview of the news

  • The vaccine was launched in the presence of Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology (Independent Charge).

  • It is developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in collaboration with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance (BIRAC).

  • An initial manufacturing capacity of several million doses per year of the vaccine has been established, to be scaled up to one billion doses as needed.

  • iNCOVACC has been priced at Rs 325 per dose.

  • On September 9, 2022, Bharat Biotech's iNCOVACC, the world's first nasal COVID-19 vaccine, was approved for emergency use in adults.

  • On November 28, 2022, Bharat Biotech announced that the vaccine has been approved for restricted emergency use in adults.

About iNCOVACC Vaccine

  • Bharat Biotech's intranasal COVID-19 vaccine is a recombinant replicating adenovirus vectored vaccine.

  • A recombinant vaccine means that it has been manufactured using bacterial cells or yeast cells or parts of a virus to introduce viral proteins into the host.

  • It removes critical parts of the genome of SARS-CoV-2, so that the viral vector can no longer replicate.

  • Phase I, II and III clinical trials of the vaccine have yielded successful results.

  • The vaccine will be given intranasally through drops in the nose, a system that has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.

  • The maximum temperature range for storage and distribution of iNCOVACC is two to eight degrees Celsius.

Working of iNCOVACC

  • An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response by producing a wide range of antibodies including neutralising Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and mucosal Immunoglobulin A (IgA). 

  • The vaccine also initiates T cell responses. 

  • When the iNCOVACC vaccine is given to an individual, the immune cells in the body express the immobilized spike protein.

  • As a result, the body starts producing antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

  • After a person is exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the immune system will block Covid-19 infection in both the upper and lower respiratory tract due to the presence of antibodies.

  • Therefore, iNCOVACC has the potential to block SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

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