The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted 'in principle' approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct 'Phase III superiority study and Phase III booster dose study' for its intranasal COVID vaccine, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday, 5 January.
The DCGI has also asked the Indian drugmaker to submit protocols for approval.
Bharat Biotech, on 20 December, had sought approval from the DCGI for the conduction of phase-3 trials for its intranasal vaccine (BBV154), which is to be used as a booster dose.
According to a report by STAT, injecting the vaccines into our arm muscles can only protect our lungs from COVID-19, but not our nasal passages. Intranasal vaccines may prove to be helpful for the protection of upper respiratory tracts.
An intranasal vaccine is easier to administer in mass vaccination campaigns, sources told ANI.
The vaccine can be administered to those vaccinated with Covaxin as well as those who have been inoculated by the Serum Institute of India-manufactured Covishield, the sources added.
(With inputs from ANI)