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Is nasal vaccine recommended after precaution dose? Here’s what Covid task force chief says

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New Delhi: Amid global fears over the spread of new variant responsible for COVID surge in China, the roll out of nasal vaccines has sparked confusion about people eligible for it. Now, experts have cleared this confusion and said that nasal vaccine is recommended as “first booster”. An expert says that those who have already received the precautionary dose are not required ti take the nasal vaccine.

Who can take nasal vaccine?

“It (nasal vaccine) is recommended as the first booster. For example, if a person has already received a precaution dose, it is not recommended for that person. It is for those who have not yet taken a precaution dose,” Dr NK Arora told NDTV. Dr NK Arora has been closely involved with the roll out of vaccines from the onset of the pandemic.

On Friday, the government had approved Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine, called iNCOVACC, as a booster dose for people aged 18 years and above.

In November, the two-drop needle-free nasal vaccine was approved by the drugs regulator for restricted use during emergency as a heterologous booster dose.

Hheterologous booster means a person can get a different vaccine as a third shot from what he/she was administered as the primary dose.

Nasal vaccine’s availability

The iNCOVACC is likely to be introduced soon on the Co-WIN platform, from where eligible people can book their shot from the mobile application or website.

As of now, the nasal vaccine will only be available at private hospitals.

Key Attributes of iNCOVACC

  • An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response – neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses
  • Immune responses at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa) – essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19
  • The nasal route has excellent potential for vaccination due to the organized immune systems of the nasal mucosa
  • Non-invasive, Needle-free
  • Ease of administration – does not require trained health care workers
  • Elimination of needle-associated risks (injuries and infections)

ALSO READ: ‘Covid isn’t over yet’ – PM Modi warns against laxity, urges people to use mask

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