Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to begin trials of nasal Covid-19 vaccine, says govt

Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech to begin trials of nasal Covid-19 vaccine, says govt

The clinical trials of nasal coronavirus vaccine in India are expected to begin soon by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, the government said on Sunday. The government also informed that the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech will begin the trials of nasal coronavirus vaccine once they receive regulatory approval.

At present, there is no nasal trial coronavirus vaccine under trial in India. For the trials of the nasal coronavirus vaccine candidate, Bharat Biotech, which is developing an indigenous Covid-19 vaccine in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has entered into an agreement with Washington University and St. Louis University.

In his Sunday Samvaad on Sunday, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “Bharat Biotech has entered into an agreement with Washington University’s School of Medicine under which the company will conduct trials, produce and market an intranasal vaccine for the Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus infection.”

He then went on to add that Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech will soon begin the late-stage trials of a nasal coronavirus vaccine candidate in India. Harsh Vardhan said the late-stage trial generally involves thousands of participants, sometimes 30,000 to 40,000.

Of the vaccines currently in Phase 3 trials, all are administered by injection, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

On Saturday, India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said they have received renewed approval to conduct late-stage clinical trials in India of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V.

The DGCI had earlier put a stop on Dr Reddy’s Laboratories conducting clinical trials for the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, saying the scale of Phase I and II trials of the coronavirus vaccine candidate conducted in Russia was too small.


Earlier, the government had said that India is expected to have a coronavirus vaccine in a few months. It also said that India should be in the process of delivering the coronavirus vaccine to people in the next six months.

“We are very much into the vaccine development process…in the next few months at the most we should have a vaccine and in the next six months we should be in the process of delivering the vaccine to the people of India,” he said.

This is just when the World Health Organization said the healthy people might have to wait till 2022 to get a coronavirus or Covid-19 vaccine as health workers and those with a higher risk of contracting the infection will be prioritised.

“Most people agree, it’s starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on,” WHO chief scientist Swaminathan said.


China has stepped up the usage of its coronavirus vaccine to three more cities in East China’s Zhejiang Province for an urgent use just days after joining the WHO’s ‘COVAX’ alliance to equitably distribute Covid-19 vaccines across the world.

According to state-run Global Times, the cities of Yiwu, Ningbo and Shaoxing are targeting key groups with urgent need for vaccinations against coronavirus infection following the city of Jiaxing.

This comes just after a study said that China’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate elicits an antibody response against coronavirus. These findings were the result of a small early-phase randomized clinical trial of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine candidate which is based on the inactivated whole SARS-CoV-2 virus.



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