The ideal time for a booster dose for COVID-19 vaccine is six months after the second dose, Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella said on Wednesday, and also emphasised the importance of having a nasal vaccine. He also pointed out that his company was the first in the world to develop a Zika vaccine.
Taking the Covaxin vaccine by Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed confidence in Indian Science, he said.
"The ideal time for a booster dose is six months after the second dose," Ella stated.
Bharat Biotech is also looking at nasal vaccine as a booster dose as its scaling up capacity is very easy when compared with Covaxin, he added.
About the importance of nasal vaccine, he said the entire world is looking at nasal vaccines. That is the only way to stop transmission. Everyone is trying to figure out the immunology and fortunately, Bharat Biotech has figured it out.
"We are coming out with a nasal vaccine, we are thinking that Covaxin can be given as first dose, the second dose can be given a nasal, that is also strategically, scientifically very important because with the second dose, if it is a nasal one, you stop the transmission of the virus...," Ella said.
Nasal vaccine works well if someone has been infected or if someone has been vaccinated with one dose, he added.
About the PM taking the Covaxin shot, he said, "What would a scientist like to have? A country head taking his vaccine. That is the best satisfaction a scientist can get... It shows confidence in the Indian science, confidence in the startup, and confidence in our innovation...".
Speaking about a vaccine for Zika, Ella said Bharat Biotech is ready with a vaccine for Zika virus. Phase I is complete. The government has to take up more trials because there are more cases now.
"We were the first company in the world to develop the Zika vaccine in 2014... We were the first one to file for a global patent for Zika vaccine", he added.
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