As India marked its 74th Republic Day on Thursday, the country launched its first home-made nasal Covid-19 vaccine, iNCOVACC. Launching the vaccine, Union Health Minister Mansukh Manadaviya said: “Proud to launch iNCOVACC, the world’s 1st intranasal vaccine for Covid. A mighty display of India’s research and innovation prowess under PM Narendra Modi Ji’s leadership. It is a testimony to the innovative zeal of our scientists. Mandaviya unveiled the Incovacc, the first Indiamade nasal Covid-19 vaccine, today in the presence of Union Minister of State (IC) for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh. Developed by Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in collaboration with Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance (BIRAC), a PSU under the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, iNCOVACC is the world’s first intranasal Covid-19 vaccine to receive approval for the primary 2-dose schedule, and as a heterologous booster dose. “Being the world’s first intra-nasal Covid-19 vaccine, this marks a glorious tribute to the call for Atmanirbhar Bharat. India’s vaccine manufacturing and innovation capability are appreciated all over the world as it has made a mark in producing quality and affordable medicines,” the Union Health Minister said. According to a statement by the firm, Bharat Biotech, the world’s 1st Covid-19 intranasal vaccine for Primary series and Heterologous booster. “Product development and clinical trials for iNCOVACC® were funded in part by the Government of India, through the Department of Biotechnology›s, Covid Suraksha Program,» the statement added. The firm said it got an approval from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) “for iNCOVACC® to be administered for primary series and as heterologous booster doses”. “Amid growing Covid-19 cases and emerging variants of the highly transmissible virus, a booster dose of the vaccine becomes imperative. iNCOVACC® is now available on CoWIN, and priced at INR 800 for private markets and INR 325 for supplies to Govt of India and State Governments,” the statement read. The nasal delivery system has been designed and developed to be cost-effective in low and middle-income countries, informed the pharma firm. «As needleless vaccination, Bharat Biotech›s iNCOVACC® will be the world’s first such booster dose. India will now have more options when it comes to third doses or precautionary doses,” it said. Further, according to the statement, the vaccine has been specifically formulated to allow intranasal delivery through nasal drops. A rollout of iNCOVACC is expected to begin in private hospitals that have placed advance orders. An initial manufacturing capacity of several million doses per annum has been established, this can be scaled up to a billion doses as required. iNCOVACC is priced at INR 325/dose for large volume procurement by State Governments and Govt of India, as per an official release.