India’s first mRNA-based Covid19 booster launched for public use

The Omicron-specific vaccine does not require cold storage, easy to deploy even in remote areas and can be administered without a needle injection

India's 1st mRNA Covid19 booster

New Delhi: Union minister of state for science and technology Jitendra Singh on Saturday launched the Gennova’s Omicron-specific mRNA-based booster dose against Covid19, Gemcovac-OM.

It’s India’s first mRNA vaccine has been developed using the indigenous platform technology by Gennova, with funding support from department of biotechnology (DBT) and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).

The vaccine has got the approval for emergency use authorisation by the Drug Control General of India (DCGI) as booster recently. Gemcovac-OM is the fifth vaccine developed with support from mission COVID Suraksha implemented by DBT and BIRAC under Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0 package of government of of India for accelerated development of Indian COVID-19 vaccines.

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“Within a year of implementation, the mission Covid Suraksha demonstrated major achievements, such as development of the world’s first DNA vaccine for COVID-19, and supporting the development of the nation’s first mRNA vaccine and intranasal vaccine candidates and a subunit vaccine against COVID-19,” said minister Singh.

Gemcovac-OM is a thermostable vaccine and does not require ultra-cold chain infrastructure used for other approved mRNA- based vaccines. It is delivered intra-dermally using a needle-free injection device system and in study participants it generated significantly higher immune responses. The clinical outcome demonstrates the need for variant-specific vaccines for desired immune response.

Also Read: India launches world’s 1st intranasal vaccine for Covid19-iNCOVACC

A senior officer of the DBT said that a number of key initiatives are currently being implemented to promote basic and translational vaccine research, including the Indo-US vaccine action programme, National Biopharma Mission, Ind-CEPI Mission, and mission COVID Suraksha. Mission Covid Suraksha has been launched as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat 3.0, with the goal of bringing safe, efficacious, affordable and accessible indigenous COVID 19 vaccines to the citizens of the country at the earliest.

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