India approves nasal vaccine for COVID-19

People line up to register their names to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Hyderabad, India, Dec 27, 2021. (MAHESH KUMAR A. / AP)

NEW DELHI – India's federal government approved on Friday the use of intranasal COVID-19 vaccine iNCOVACC, officials said.

INCOVACC, manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, will be used as a heterologous booster

The nasal vaccine, manufactured by Bharat Biotech International Ltd, will be used as a heterologous booster.

"Nasal vaccines are currently only available in private hospitals," reported India's public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati News Services and Digital Platform.

Officials said the nasal vaccine has been approved for those aged above 18 years.

The vaccine received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India last month for restricted use in an emergency situation.


Malaysia reported 858 new COVID-19 infections as of midnight Thursday, bringing the national total to 5,021,242, according to the Health Ministry.

There are one new imported case and 857 cases of local transmissions, data released on the ministry's website showed.

Another three new deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 36,824.

The ministry reported 1,119 new recoveries, bringing the total number of cured and discharged to 4,969,828.

There are 14,590 active cases, with 46 being held in intensive care and 23 of those in need of assisted breathing.

The Philippines

The Philippines reported 1,031 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, pushing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 4,059,369.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases rose to 16,900, while 30 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, pushing the country's death toll to 65,172.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 377 new cases.

Commuters leave a train station during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore, Sept 23, 2021. (EDGAR SU / REUTERS)


Singapore reported 1,200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total tally to 2,193,890.

A total of 111 cases are currently warded in hospitals, with five of them held in intensive care units, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

READ MORE: BioNTech says to set up mRNA vaccine facility in Singapore

No new deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Thursday, leaving the total death toll unchanged at 1,710.