A booster dose of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID vaccine may be needed on January 4

The SEC of the DCGI will meet to discuss using Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine as a COVID-19 booster dose. The meeting will start at 12 p.m. on January 4th.

On Tuesday, January 4, India’s drug regulatory authority’s Subject Expert Committee (SEC) will meet to discuss the use of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal COVID vaccine as a booster or third dose. Bharat Biotech had proposed using this vaccine as a booster dose in people who had already been vaccinated with Covaxin or the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). According to sources, the SEC of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) will meet on January 4 at noon.

In its application, the Hyderabad-based biotechnology firm proposes to use its BBV154 intranasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose in people who have already received two doses of either Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or SII’s Covishield.

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Clinical trials will be conducted on 5,000 people by Bharat Biotech.

A booster dose of Bharat Biotech's intranasal
A booster dose of Bharat Biotech’s intranasal

Bharat Biotech will conduct clinical trials on 5,000 healthy subjects, with 2,500 receiving Covishield and another 2,500 receiving Covaxin, according to the trial schedule. After a six-month period following the second COVID-19 vaccine, the intranasal booster dose will be given.

The company had applied to the DCGI in December 2021 for permission to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial of its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine as a booster dose. The needle-free, non-invasive, and simple to administer intranasal vaccine is expected to be suitable for both children and adults. However, India has yet to approve Bharat Biotech’s “game changer” nasal vaccine.

On Day 1, India gives out 40 lakh COVID vaccine doses to teenagers.

Read More: COVID-19 Cases Surge, EC Urges 5 Poll-bound States To Boost Vaccination

Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised the nation on December 25 that the country would develop a nasal vaccine and the world’s first DNA vaccine soon. PM Modi made three major announcements on December 25: children aged 15 to 18 will be vaccinated beginning 3 January 2022; healthcare and frontline workers will be given “precautionary doses” beginning 10 January 2022; and people aged 60 and up with co-morbidities will be able to get a “precaution dose” of the COVID vaccine beginning 10 January 2022 on doctor’s advice.

It should be noted that, in the midst of the rising COVID-19 cases, India has successfully vaccinated over 40 lakh teenagers in the age group of 15-18 years against COVID on the first day of the vaccination for youngsters on January 3 until 8:30 p.m., in a promising development.

India’s COVID situation

On Monday, January 3, India reported 33,750 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, with 10,846 recoveries. Active cases account for less than 1% of total infections, according to data provided by the Union Health Ministry, and are currently at 0.42 percent, the lowest since March 2020. The COVID recovery rate is currently at 98.20%. To date, the country has given out 1,46,71,75,846 doses of COVID vaccine as part of a nationwide vaccination campaign.

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