India has approved a nasal vaccine for Covid-19 in a world first.
Developed by Bharat Biotech, iNCOVACC is administered in drop form, stimulating an immune response in the tissues lining the nasal cavity.
Recipients are to be given two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart.
Bharat Biotech Chairman, Dr Krishna Ella, said:
“It’s easy to deliver and doesn’t need any syringe or needle and most important[ly] it produces three immune responses, IgG, IgA and T cell response.
“No other vaccine in the world can deliver three responses compared to the injectable, which produced mostly IgG or T cell response.”
The vaccine will cost 800 rupees (£8) per dose in private hospitals and 325 rupees per dose in government hospitals.
To date, India has the second highest number of confirmed Covid cases in the world and the third-highest number of deaths.
The country began its inoculation programme on January 16, 2021 with the AstraZeneca and Covaxin vaccines.
More than 70 per cent of the population has taken at least two doses of Covid vaccine, according to the federal health ministry.
Science and Technology Minister, Jitendra Singh, said:
“India has taken a lead in developing vaccines and medicines for diseases common in the developing world.”
Meanwhile, in the UK, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has threatened to sue Matt Hancock after the former health secretary accused him of “antisemitic, anti-vax, anti-scientific conspiracy theories”.
The MP for North West Leicestershire was suspended over a tweet which likened the impact of Covid vaccines to the Holocaust.
Hancock said the comments were ‘unacceptable and have absolutely no place in our society.’