Home / News / India /  Bharat Biotech completes trials for India's first intranasal Covid vaccine
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Bharat Biotech on Monday announced that it has completed clinical development for phase III trials and booster doses for BBV154 intranasal covid vaccine. Speaking about the intranasal covid vaccine, the Hyderabad-based company said, “BBV154 has proven to be safe, well-tolerated & immunogenic in subjects in controlled clinical trials." The adenoviral intranasal vaccine BBV154 is the first of its kind Covid-19 vaccine to undergo human trials in India.

The intramuscular injection shots usually produce antibodies, but there is still a risk of transmission. It has raised the possibility that vaccinated people could still catch and spread the virus, even when they don’t know they’re infected. However, experts have pointed out that if vaccines are given through the nose (intranasally) there is a higher chance of blocking the virus in both the nasal passages and bloodstream.

Bharat Biotech's Chairman and MD Dr Krishna Ella had said earlier, “injectable vaccine only protects the lower level (of the body). That’s why people who were vaccinated with injectable vaccines may still get RT-PCR positive, whereas the nasal jab gives protection to the whole body." The intranasal vaccine had finished the phase II trial in October last year. 

Separately, the DCGI has also granted permission to the Hyderbad firm to conduct phase-3 clinical trial to compare the immunogenecity and safety of BBV-154 (intranasal) with Covaxin. This trial has been permitted to be conducted at nine sites.

Ella had also hinted earlier that the company is also working on another set of vaccines owing to the emergence of new variants. He had told PTI earlier that the country may face higher hospitalisations with the emerging coronavirus variant BA.5 as the new form may “evade the vaccine". 

“It is totally different from delta variant. It is totally different from omicron also. They call "deltaomicron", a combination of both. I think if that attacks then it is going to be an issue. But we keep watching. We are working on that also. Risk mitigation we are trying to do. We are well prepared now... I think hospitalisation will increase if there are BA.5 attacks," Ella said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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