Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid Vaccine which got approval for restricted use in November this year has been approved by Union Health Ministry as a booster dose for 18 years and above. According to official sources, the vaccine would be available on the Co-Win platform from Friday. The nasal vaccine would be available at private centres first. The decision comes amid a spike in Covid cases in China and elsewhere in the world.
Krishna Ella, the Managing Director of Bharat Biotech said that an injectable vaccine only protects the lower level of the body. The nasal jabs give protection to the whole body, she added. Besides, nasal vaccines are easy to administer and minimize needle-associated risks.
Union Home Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, speaking in the parliament on Thursday urged the states to increase the genome sequencing of new positive samples and also asked them to be vigilant. He also urged states to spread awareness about Covid-appropriate behaviour.
The health minister asked the states to administer the booster doses. The minister also said that it is contemplating 2% random testing of international passengers starting Saturday.
India has vaccinated more than 220 crores population under the vaccination drive which began in January this year. Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat lead in precautionary dose administration in the 18-59 year age group.
India reported more than 157 cases and three deaths in the last 24 hours, and 176 persons recovered during the period. Gujarat, where three positive cases of the BF.7 variant have been found recorded has recorded 6 new cases; Odisha where one new case of the BF.7 variant has been found saw an uptick of 11 new cases.