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iNCOVACC: India’s First Intranasal Covid Vaccine!

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

India has made another breakthrough in the war against the Covid pandemic with its first intranasal Covid vaccine, iNCOVACC, created by Bharat Biotech. The intranasal Covid vaccine was approved by DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) in September 2022 and then by CDSCO in November 2022 for restricted use under emergency situations for people 18 years and above. iNCOVACC- the intranasal covid vaccine will now be available under the Covid vaccination program in India. This needle-free Covid vaccine, which is easy to administer, can also be used as a booster for people who have received previous doses of any approved Covid vaccines(heterologous booster). 


Let’s know more about iNCOVACC – intranasal covid vaccine

iNCOVACC intranasal vaccine is a type of recombinant vaccine, meaning that it is created with an adenovirus vector. This kind of vaccine is made after extracting only a tiny piece of the DNA from the concerned bacterium or virus for which immunity is to be built and is inserted into the cells while manufacturing them. It is made with a pre-fusion spike protein that is stabilised. The vaccine has been formulated so that intranasal delivery is possible through nasal drops. The nasal delivery system has been developed cost-effectively, keeping in mind middle-income and low-income countries.

How is the intranasal covid vaccine administered?

iNCOVACC is a nasal vaccine to be administered twice at intervals of four weeks (28 days). Four drops will be administered into each nostril, thus totalling eight drops (0.5 mL dose in total).

Benefits of intranasal vaccination

  • Better compliance 
  • Good immune response 
  • Intranasal vaccination can provide protection against other mucosal site infections, such as in the intestines, genital tract and lungs.
  • The nasal cavity is more accessible and vaccine administration is relatively easier.
  • The vaccine provides cross-protection from variant strains via mucosal antibody secretion.
  • It is a non-invasive technique, a better alternative for those who have an aversion towards needles.

Eligibility for iNCOVACC

To be eligible for this vaccine, candidates must be 18 years and above. 

Ineligibility for iNCOVACC

You should not get the iNCOVACC vaccine if you have any of the following conditions:

· If allergic to any of the ingredients listed on the vaccine label.

· If you experienced an allergic reaction after the first dose.

· You should not take the vaccine if you are suffering from fever or acute infection.

Things to mention before getting iNCOVACC

At the time of getting the vaccine, you should mention the following to your healthcare provider:

  • You have a fever
  • You tend to develop allergies upon taking medications.
  • You suffer from a bleeding (coagulation) disorder or you are currently on blood thinners.
  • If you are currently taking any medication that affects your immune system or you are immunocompromised.
  • You have already been administered another COVID-19 vaccine.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Since this vaccine is a comparatively newer invention, it is yet to be found what the effects of the vaccine can have on pregnant women or what effects it can generate upon interaction with other medications. However, for safety, it is best recommended to consult your healthcare provider before taking this nasal vaccine if you are on any doctor-prescribed medication or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding your child.

Side effects of iNCOVACC

Concerning the clinical trials conducted, the following side effects have been noticed:

· Fever

· Headache

· Sneezing

· Runny nose

Storage conditions required for iNCOVACC – 

Once opened, The multi-dose vial should be used as soon as practically possible and within 6 hours when kept between +2 to +8°C. iNCOVACC should be discarded at the end of the immunisation session or within 6 hours, whichever comes first. Vials must not be frozen. 

The iNCOVACC vaccine has been designed to provide immunity against COVID-19, a viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 of the coronavirus family. The COVID-19 infection has caused massive damage to people’s health, economy and social-political standing since it spread globally in the earlier part of 2020. The virus spread as a result of people-to-people contact and respiratory droplets. 

End note

The iNCOVACC vaccine has been designed to provide immunity against COVID-19, a viral disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. The COVID-19 infection has caused massive damage to people’s health, economy and social-political standing since it spread globally in 2020. With the increase in Covid cases in China, the US, Brazil and other parts of the world, we must amp up our guards and reduce the risk of exposure to Covid infection in all possible ways. Approval of nasal covid vaccine can help speed up the vaccination drive of precaution doses in India. 

By following proper safety measures and other standard COVID-19 protocols, we can fight the novel coronavirus disease. 

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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