As Covid makes a comeback in some parts of the world, due to a new Omicron sub-variant, India is updating its pandemic plan of action. The Union Health Ministry has approved Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine for use as a booster dose in the vaccination programme for those over the age of 18, as per official sources on Thursday. This will be available at private clinics as well as on the Co-WIN platform on Friday evening. The CoWin portal currently lists Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, Serum Institute’s Covishield and Covovax, Russian Sputink V, and Biological E Ltd’s Corbevax.
In November, the Drugs Controller General of India approved the nasal vaccine, BBV154, for constrained use in an emergency situation, for adults. The intranasal vaccine has several advantages because the nasal route has excellent vaccination potential due to the nasal mucosa’s organized immune systems. It is also non-invasive and needle-free, and it is simple to administer because no trained healthcare workers are required.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned people against complacency and urged them to wear masks in crowded places, while also directing officials to strengthen surveillance measures, particularly at international airports.
This week, Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya presided over a high-level meeting to assess the COVID-19 situation in India as well as the public health system’s readiness for COVID-19 surveillance, containment, and management.