#GS-03 Science and Technology, #GS-02 Healthcare
- iNCOVACC is an intranasal COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Bharat Biotech, American company Precision Virologics and the Washington University School of Medicine.
- Codenamed BBV154, it had received permission for restricted use in November.
- The nasal vaccine has been given approval both as a primary dose and a heterologous booster.
- It also holds the distinction of being the world’s first intranasal vaccine approved for use against COVID-19.
- iNCOVACC is an adenovirus-vectored vaccine with a “prefusion stabilised spike protein” similar to Covishield vaccines developed by Serum Institute.
- Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) is an Indian multinational biotech company headquartered in Hyderabad.
- They are involved in in the drug discovery, drug development, manufacture of vaccines, bio-therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and health care products.
- They gained public renown for the development of COVAXIN, India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine.
- COVAXIN is developed using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell technology where an inactivated coronavirus injected along with an adjuvant.
- Inactivated viruses do not have the ability to replicate and are therefore unlikely to revert and cause pathological effects.
- Since they contain dead virus, they are incapable of infecting people but are still able to instruct the immune system to mount a defensive reaction against an infection.
- Adjuvants are added to the vaccine to increase and boost its immunogenicity.
- COVAXIN demonstrated 8% vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID–19 cases and 63.6% protection against asymptomatic COVID-19.
Covid-19 and India:
- Over 220 crore vaccines have been administered to those aged 12 and above in India till now.
- Even though 90% of the population has received two doses, only 27% have taken a third dose.
- According to reports, China has vaccinated about 50% of those over 60 years with a third dose.
- India has a weekly positivity rate of 14% and only 153 cases have been reported from December 16 to 22.
- This is negligible compared to the global rate of 76 lakh cases daily, with 154,000 in Japan, 67,000 in South Korea and 65,000 in the United States being infected daily.