The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has given permission to Bharat Biotech for intranasal COVID-19 booster dose trials, reported news agency ANI.
These trials will be carried out at nine different sites, the report added.
This development comes on the same day that Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya announced that over 1 crore precautionary doses, as they are being referred to by the government, have been administered to the eligible population in just 19 days.
Earlier, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of the DCGI had granted 'in principle' approval to Bharat Biotech to conduct 'Phase III superiority study and Phase III booster dose study' for its intranasal COVID-19 vaccine, ANI reported on 5 January.
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.
(With inputs from ANI.)