As the world is now concerned regarding the newly found “variant of concern” Omicron and its effect on vaccine caused immunity, in India, chairman and managing director of Covaxin developer Bharat Biotech, Krishna Ella stated that it has completed Phase 2 trials for the Covid nasal vaccine, which is expected to be more effective against the virus.
Ella told Business Line, “It's going to be a lot of new science, which even the Western world is not aware of, and that’s the reason we are keeping details confidential. The nasal vaccine can stop virus transmission.”
Experts agree that intramuscular vaccine administration via injection produces antibodies, but there is still a risk of transmission, which can be avoided by using the intranasal technique.
Following the satisfactory findings of the Phase 1 trials, which were conducted on 400 healthy individuals aged 18 to 20 years, Bharat Biotech was granted regulatory approval for Phase 2 clinical trials of the nasal vaccine candidate in August this year.
In the Phase 2 trial, over 650 individuals took part in 10 locations around the country. Since this trial is completed, now the Hyderabad-based company is working on Phase 3 studies for BBV154, its intranasal replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus SARS-CoV-2 vectored vaccine. This vaccine is being created with the help of a new Washington University-licensed technology.
Earlier, while talking about the booster dose, Ella said that six months after the second dosage is the best time for a booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine and noted that in comparison to Covaxin, Bharat Biotech is considering nasal vaccination as a booster dosage because scaling up capacity is much easier.
"We are coming out with a nasal vaccine, we are thinking that Covaxin can be given as the first dose, the second dose can be given a nasal, that is also strategically, scientifically very important because with the second dose if it is a nasal one, you stop the transmission of the virus...," he said at the Times Now Summit 2021 while adding that if someone has been infected or has just received one dose of the nasal vaccine, it works well.
However, the homegrown jab, Covaxin—developed by Bharat Biotech, in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)—has been given to millions of Indians along with the Indian version of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Serum Institute’s Covishield.
Covaxin was also recommended for emergency use approval for use in children by the SEC of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) last month. The DCGI has not yet given its final clearance; however, the centre is anticipated to announce vaccination guidelines for children soon.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!