Bharat Biotech's intranasal Covid vaccine has been approved by the Union Health Ministry for inclusion in the vaccination programme as a booster dose for those above 18 years of age, official sources said on Thursday.
The needle-free vaccine will be available at private centres. It will be introduced on the Co-WIN platform on Friday evening, they said.
"The government of India has approved the Nasal vaccine. It will be used as a heterologous booster and will be available first in private hospitals. It will be included in Covid vaccination program from today," official sources said.
The approval for the vaccine comes amid a spurt in Covid cases in China and some other countries.
Bharat Biotech's nasal vaccine
The nasal vaccine BBV154 received approval of the Drugs Controller General of India in November for restricted use in an emergency situation for those above 18 as a heterologous booster dose.
Bharat Biotech’s nasal Covid vaccine will be introduced as a booster dose in the country soon.
Bharat biotech’s Nasal vaccine, which is a a needle-free jab, will be India’s first such booster dose. It can be administered to those above 18 years.
Pricing of the vaccine is yet to be decided.
It will be made available in government and private facilities.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in India and directed officials to increase Covid-19 testing and advised states to carry out an audit of their healthcare infrastructure, including the availability of oxygen.
States have been asked to share a larger number of samples with the designated INSACOG Genome Sequencing Laboratories (lGSLs) for genome sequencing on a daily basis, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
In the Covid review meeting chaired by Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, experts said although there is no overall increase in Covid caseload as of now, there is a need for continued surveillance to keep a track of existing and emerging variants.
The minister asked people to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour, including wearing masks in crowded places and getting vaccinated.
States and Union territories will also undertake a mock drill across all health facilities on Tuesday to ensure the operational readiness of the Covid-dedicated facilities, with a specific focus on oxygen plants, ventilators, logistics and human resources, according to official sources.
Top doctors body Indian Medical Association (IMA) has also asked people to get their booster doses.
(With PTI Inputs)