‘Phase 2 trials almost completed’: Dr Krishna Ella on nasal Covid-19 vaccine
The phase 2 trials of Bharat Biotech International Limited’s nasal vaccine against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are almost over, Dr Krishna Ella, the Hyderabad-based firm’s chairman and MD, said on Saturday, as he congratulated the country on achieving the feat of administering more than 1 billion or 100 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccines. “We’ve almost completed the phase 2 trials for the nasal vaccine, and it has shown good results. It will help in controlling the transmission of the infection,” Dr Ella said, according to news agency ANI.
The vaccine, BBV154, received regulatory approvals for phase 2/3 trials in August, thus becoming the first-of-its-kind Covid-19 jab to undergo human testing in the country. The internasal jab, the development of which was supported by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industrial Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), underwent phase 1 testing on volunteers in the age group of 18-60, and was “well tolerated.”
Last month, Dr VK Paul, Niti Aayog member (Health), said that the findings from the vaccine’s first phase trials had been “promising.”
Meanwhile, speaking on Covaxin for kids, Dr Ella said that the company was still waiting for a license from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in this regard. Covaxin, the country’s first indigenously developed anti-Covid shot, which is being used in the nationwide inoculation drive, was, earlier this month, recommended by the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for the age group of 2-18.
Before Covaxin, Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadilla’s ZyCoV-2 received emergency use authorisation (EUA) for an age group below 18, being approved for everyone aged 12 and above. The nationwide vaccination drive, which began on January 16, is currently open only for citizens who are 18-years-old and above.
On Thursday, India crossed the milestone of administering more than a billion doses of Covid-19 jabs. The figure includes both single and fully (double) vaccinated beneficiaries.