Mylab and Serum Institute have launched India's first nasal influenza vaccine

Mylab and Serum Institute of India (SII) have jointly introduced Nasovac S4, India's first nasal influenza vaccine that eliminates the need for a needle. The vaccine, which contains four influenza virus strains, is in alignment with the recommendations of the WHO. Nasovac S4 is a live quadrivalent influenza vaccine with two influenza Type A virus strains (A/H1N1 and A/H3N2) and two influenza Type B virus strains (Victoria and Yamagata lineage). It will be easily accessible to the public through a network of healthcare providers and clinics across India.

Indicated for individuals above the age of 2, Nasovac S4 actively immunizes against influenza caused by these virus strains. This nasal spray flu vaccine initiates action in the nasal passages, stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies against influenza infection. A single intranasal dose of Nasovac S4 is recommended for people above two years of age. The statement further added that the conventional method of administering influenza vaccines through injections can often deter individuals, especially children and those with trypanophobia.

Influenza remains a highly contagious respiratory infection with the potential for severe complications, particularly during seasonal outbreaks. Vaccination stands as the primary defence against influenza, and Nasovac S4 not only offers superior protection but also strives to enhance vaccination rates by providing a more comfortable and accessible option. The vaccine is currently available in private markets and only in India. Speaking at the launch of the vaccine, Hasmukh Rawal, managing director of Mylab Discovery Solutions, said, "With exclusive distribution and marketing partnership between Mylab and SII, we aim to provide comprehensive protection against a wide range of influenza strains".

Dr Rajeev Dhere, Executive Director, Serum Institute of India and virologist, said, “This vaccine is different from the currently available vaccines since it is nasal and needle-free. It has a two-pronged approach as it works in the respiratory tract and in the blood. It works right at the systemic level and on the local level as well, where the infection can occur, at the nose, and in case any virus enters the system, it provides protection there as well. It provides protection against all four variants of influenza.”

Researchers at Duke Human Vaccine Institute have developed a vaccine that protects against three different fatal coronaviruses, potentially allowing for pan-coronavirus immunization. The vaccine, tested on mice, successfully protected against SARS-CoV-1, MERS coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine consists of a single nanoparticle loaded with a key fragment from each of the coronaviruses. The researchers plan to conduct human tests next year with a version that targets different SARS-CoV-2 strains. The development of a universal coronavirus vaccine is considered a global health priority.

India successfully eliminated polio and received Polio-free certification from the World Health Organization in 2014. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges to maintaining high immunization coverage rates. While access to polio vaccines has improved, there are still millions of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children globally. India has shown improvement in routine immunization coverage rates, but it is crucial to prevent any backsliding on childhood vaccinations, including polio vaccination. Strategies such as nationwide immunization days and recommended vaccine schedules are important to sustain India's polio-free status and protect children from the disease.