Mumbai: The BMC on Friday started administering the world's first intranasal Covid vaccine – iNCOVACC – as a precautionary dose for senior citizens. However, just 23 beneficiaries took the drops on the first day of the inoculation drive. Out of the 24 Covid vaccine centres (one for each ward), senior citizens showed up only at eight centres, while 16 facilities witnessed zero takers for iNCOVACC. The civic body has received 2,000 doses of the vaccine, which can be taken after on-spot registration.
“It was the first day due to which less beneficiaries have taken the booster dose, but the numbers will increase in coming days as people will get to know about the vaccine's efficacy and how it helps as a barrier against the virus,” said an official.
1.08 crore beneficiaries have taken the first dose of Covid vaccine
As per the official data, till now 1.08 crore beneficiaries have taken the first dose of Covid vaccine, while 98.15 lakh beneficiaries have taken both the doses and only 14.88 lakh have taken the booster; which is only 15%. Categorically speaking about senior citizens, 12.59 lakh of them have taken the first dose, while 11.15 lakh have taken the second dose. However, only 4,86,653 elderly people have taken the booster, so far.
Last December, Bharat Biotech had announced the release of iNCOVACC after it received approval for a restricted, emergency roll-out from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). A recipient is administered four drops each in two nostrils. Each vial can be used to vaccinate two individuals.
“According to the guidelines of the Maharashtra government, the vaccine iNCOVACC will be given as a preventive dose to citizens above 60 years of age. A prophylactic dose of iNCOVACC can be given six months after the second dose of CoviShield or Covaxin. It has also been clarified thatiNCOVACC can't be given as a preventive dose for any vaccine other than CoviShield or Covaxin,” read a circular.
According to the health department, iNCOVACC was priced at Rs325/dose for large volume procurement by the Centre and state governments. Maharashtra has made the procurement at a cost of Rs6.8 crore approximately.
Partially-vaccinated elderly population
'Boosted' elderly population
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)