NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday approved the cost of Bharat Biotech’s nasal COVID-19 vaccine iNCOVACC, which will be used as a booster dose for those above 18 years, at Rs 800 for private hospitals and Rs 325 for the government ones.
The vaccine iNCOVACC® will be rolled out in the fourth week of January.
The Union Health Ministry said that those who have taken Covishield and Covaxin could take the nasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose.
The iNCOVACC has been approved by the Government of India and will be used as a heterologous booster dose for those above 18 years of age.
The vaccine will be available in private hospitals.
The world’s first intranasal vaccine iNCOVACC® received both primary series and heterologous booster approval.
It is the world’s first Intranasal vaccine for COVID to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule and the heterologous booster dose.
The vaccine iNCOVACC® had earlier received approval under restricted use in an emergency situation for ages 18 and above for a primary 2-dose schedule. Phase III trials of the vaccine were conducted for safety, and immunogenicity in 3,100 subjects, at 14 trial sites across India.
The CoWIN platform will also be modified in this regard.
Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya is scheduled to hold a virtual meeting with State health ministers on the COVID-19 situation and preparedness at 3 pm on Tuesday, according to sources.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Monday to review the status and preparedness of public health response to COVID-19 and emphasised the need for strengthened surveillance with a focus on genome sequencing and increased testing.
This high-level review meeting comes against the backdrop of a spike in COVID-19 cases in some countries, including China, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
PM Modi assessed the COVID-19 situation in the country, the preparedness of health infrastructure and logistics and the status of the vaccination campaign in the country. He also evaluated the emergence of new Covid-19 variants and their public health implications.
Over the last two days, chief ministers of many states around the country have conducted high-level meetings with senior officials regarding the preparedness for Covid19 in their states.
Union Health Minister also conducted a meeting with the Indian Medical Association and other senior doctors.
The sub-variant of the Omicron variant BF.7, which is driving the new surge in COVID-19 cases in China, Japan, South Korea, France and the United States, has been detected in India also.
A total of four cases have been reported in four states — the first one in July and the latest in November. Overall cases in India continue to be relatively few, at less than 200.
As per sources, there are currently 10 different variants of Covid-19 in the country, with the latest being BF.7.