Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine will cost Rs 800 plus taxes at private hospitals and slots can now be booked on the CoWin portal, the pharmaceutical major has announced.
The nasal vaccine, iNCOVACC, will be rolled out in the fourth week of January.
For large procurement by centre and state governments, iNCOVACC will be priced at Rs 325 per dose.
iNCOVACC is being rolled out as a booster shot for those above 18 years of age.
This is the world’s first intranasal Covid vaccine to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose, Bharat Biotech said.
The phase-III trials and heterologous trials were conducted for 14 and 9 sites across the country, respectively, Bharat Biotech said in a statement.
During the trials, the pharma major said, those administered the vaccine demonstrated significant levels of antibody levels in the saliva. Mucosal IgA antibodies in the upper respiratory tract may provide benefit in reducing infections and transmission of the infection, it added.
Earlier this month, Bharat Biotech received approval from the central drug regulator for use of the nasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose. In the heterologous booster system, a person can be administered a vaccine different from the primary dose.
The nasal delivery system, Bharat Biotech has said, was designed to be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
“We have achieved the goals we set for ourselves during this pandemic. We have developed COVAXIN and iNCOVACC, two COVID vaccines from two different platforms, with two different delivery systems. The vectored intranasal delivery platform gives us the capability for rapid product development, scale-up, easy and painless immunization during public health emergencies and pandemics,” Dr. Krishna Ella, executive chairman of Bharat Biotech said in a statement. He thanked government bodies, including the Health Ministry, for support and guidance.
iNCOVACC was developed in partnership with Washington University, St. Louis, which had designed and developed the recombinant adenoviral vectored construct and evaluated in preclinical studies for efficacy, Bharat Biotech said.
The nasal vaccine doses are stable at 2-8 degrees Celsius for easy storage and distribution, the pharmaceutical major said.