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Incovacc, Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine

  • 24 Dec 2022
  • 5 min read

Why in News?

Bharat Biotech’s intranasal vaccine, BBV154 or Incovacc is the world’s first intranasal vaccine to be approved as a booster dose for Covid-19.

What is Incovacc?

  • About:
    • The nasal vaccine is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein.
  • Significance:
    • With the vaccine being delivered through a nasal spray, it will do away with the need for needles and syringes currently required for all the Covid-19 vaccines available.
    • It will also reduce dependence on personnel trained to give shots.
    • Incovacc is effective for Omicron variants that replicate in the upper respiratory tract before entering the lungs.
  • Mechanism:
    • As the vaccine is given nasally, it triggers an immune response in the mucosal membrane.
    • BBV154 may produce local antibodies in the upper respiratory tract which may provide the potential to reduce infection and transmission.
    • Since the nasal vaccine gives local immunity (in the nose where the virus first enters), it can be said that it is more likely to be effective at preventing transmission than the current generation of vaccines we have.
  • Booster Dose:
    • This is the second heterologous booster to be included in the vaccination programme after Corbevax.
      • In homologous boosting, a person is injected with the same vaccine that was used for the two previous doses. In heterologous boosting, a person is injected with a different vaccine from that was used for the primary dose.
    • It has previously received the nod to be used as a primary dose.
    • Incovacc will be available as a booster dose only for those above 18 years of age who have got 2 doses of either Covaxin or Covishield.
      • It will not be administered to any other category, for now, including those who have already taken booster dose.
      • Those who have taken Covishield and Covaxin can now take this nasal vaccine as a heterologous booster dose.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. In the context of vaccines manufactured to prevent COVID-19 pandemic, consider the following statements: (2022)

  1. The Serum Institute of India produced COVID-19 vaccine named Covishield using mRNA platform.
  2. Sputnik V vaccine is manufactured using vector-based platform.
  3. COVAXIN is an inactivated pathogen-based vaccine.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)


  • COVISHIELD vaccine is based on the platform which uses a recombinant, replication-deficient chimpanzee adenovirus vector encoding the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) glycoprotein. Following administration, the genetic material of part of coronavirus is expressed which stimulates an immune response. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • Sputnik V is the world's first registered vaccine based on a well-studied human adenovirus vector platform. It has been approved for use in 71 countries with a total population of 4 billion people. The vaccine is named after the first Soviet space satellite. The vaccine’s efficacy is 97.6%, based on the analysis of data on the incidence of coronavirus among Russians vaccinated with both vaccine components between December 5, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Covaxin is an inactivated viral vaccine. This vaccine is developed with Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell-derived technology. They contain inactivated viruses, which cannot infect a person but still can teach the immune system to prepare a defence mechanism against the active virus. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • Hence, option (b) is correct.

Source: IE

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