Intranasal Covid-19 vaccine sees low response on Day 1

Apr 28, 2023 11:53 PM IST

Mumbai's rollout of the intranasal Covid-19 vaccine saw a low response on the first day with only 23 senior citizens taking the booster dose. The vaccine, iNCOVACC by Bharat Biotech, will be administered to those above the age of 60 and eligible six months after their second dose of either Covishield or Covaxin. The state health department recently procured 2 lakh doses, of which BMC procured around 2,000 doses. The vaccine will be given through spot registration at 24 centres across Mumbai.

Mumbai: The first day of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) rollout of intranasal Covid-19 vaccine saw a low response as only 23 senior citizens took the booster dose. Those above the age group of 60 are eligible to receive the dose.

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HT Image

iNCOVACC, an intranasal vaccine by Bharat Biotech, will be administered to people at least six months after they have received their second dose of either Covishield or Covaxin.

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“I was not keeping well and could not take my booster dose. After I heard that a nasal vaccine is available, I decided to take it. Covid-19 is still around and it is better to take precautions,” said Suresh Salve, 66, a resident of Colaba, one of the 23 beneficiaries on Friday.

The state health department had recently procured 2 lakh doses of iNCOVACC. Out of the 2 lakh doses, BMC had procured around 2,000 doses.

“We wanted to see the response for the Covid-19 nasal vaccine. So we asked the state for only 2,000 doses. If needed, we will ask for more,” said a BMC health official. He added that unlike the other two vaccines, where a vial has 10 doses, iNCOVACC’s one vial can be used for two patients. “The recipient will be administered four drops each in the nostrils. We do not have to wait for 10 people to open a vial to avoid vaccine wastage,” said the official.

He added that being a weekday, the response might be poor and expects it to get better in the coming days.

As per the Cowin data shared by BMC, 12.59 lakh senior citizens have taken the first dose of covid-19 vaccine, while 11.15 lakh have taken their second dose. The data shows only 4, 86,653 senior citizens have taken the booster or precaution dose to date.

The vaccination drive will take place in 24 centres – one in every civic ward – across Mumbai. The vaccine will be given through spot registration and addresses of all the locations will be posted daily on BMC’S Twitter account.

iNCOVACC is the world’s first intranasal Covid vaccine for primary series and heterologous booster which will be administered as nasal drops. The trials were conducted in 9 trial sites across India. The dose is also cost-effective as it eliminates the use of syringes, needles, alcohol wipes, professional spray etc.

Meanwhile, on Friday, 597 new cases were reported with 2 deaths in Maharashtra. One death in Mumbai and Raigad each. In Mumbai, 135 new cases were registered, the same as Thursday.

According to the BMC, the active cases in the state are now 4,874, of which 1,023 are from Mumbai.

BMC has advised citizens to continue to follow covid-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing masks, maintaining hand and cough hygiene and following social distancing. It said one should avoid going to crowded and poorly ventilated places, especially for senior citizens and people with comorbidities.

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