Srinagar, Dec 31: Amid COVID-19 resurgence, Jammu and Kashmir is going to receive Bharat Biotech's intranasal COVID vaccine ‘iNCOVACC’ for booster dose by January 2023 end.
iNCOVACC, the COVID nasal vaccine, is non-invasive, needle-free and easy to administer as it does not require trained healthcare workers.
Director General of Health and Family Welfare (H&FW), Dr Saleem-ur-Rehman told Greater Kashmir that COVID nasal spray would be available from January 2023. "The nasal spray iNCOVACC will be available at private markets. The precaution doses will also be available soon in Kashmir," he said.
Officials of the Health Department told Greater Kashmir that till now, they had not received any guidelines from the centre regarding iNCOVACC.
The world’s first intra-nasal vaccine for COVID developed by India is expected to give India the much-needed boost as the country prepares itself to tackle a possible COVID surge.
iNCOVACC is priced at Rs 800 (excluding GST) at private markets and Rs 325 (excluding GST) for government supplies.
J&K government has also projected a demand to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) for precaution dose especially for 60 plus and people with comorbidities.
Till now, J&K has attained 100 percent saturation in administering both COVID-19 vaccine doses. As per the official figures, more than 2 crore 45 lakh vaccine doses have been administered till September 30 this year.
Besides that, around 1 1,457,581 precautionary doses have also been administered to the people.
The doctors across the country have urged the Union Health Minister to allow the second booster shots as fear of another COVID wave looms in the country.
To remain alert to face any eventualities, health institutions across Jammu and Kashmir conducted mock drills.
Secretary, Health and Medical Education, Bhupinder Kumar, who monitored the exercise, said it was aimed to assess the readiness of key health facilities and their logistical requirements.
The drills were conducted as part of a nationwide exercise to check the readiness of health facilities to deal with any surge in the cases.
The Secretary expressed satisfaction over the successful completion of mock drills.
“The exercise included checking of oxygen generation plants installed at different locations, availability of machinery, equipment, drugs, diagnostics and other COVID logistics,'' he said.
All the healthcare institutions were found to be in the state of preparedness to tackle any upsurge of cases.