Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are likely to conduct late-stage clinical trials of intranasal vaccine for coronavirus once the regulatory approval is in place, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday, according to Reuters. He added that the late-stage trial, which usually involves thousands of participants, is likely to start in a few months.

No vaccine has yet been approved for commercial use against the coronavirus, but over a dozen vaccines from more than 100 candidates globally are being tested on humans. The vaccines, which are currently in Phase 3 trials, are all administered by injection, according to the World Health Organization. The Serum Institute of India is conducting Phase 3 trials of a vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine is already in the human clinical trial stage in India.

Last month, Bharat Biotech signed a licensing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri, United States to manufacture a single-dose intranasal vaccine for the coronavirus. The intranasal vaccine has shown very positive effects in mice, according to Bharat Biotech. The company said an intranasal vaccine will not only be simpler to administer, but will reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles and syringes, thus bringing down the cost of the immunisation programme.

India’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 75,50,273 on Monday with 55,722 new cases in 24 hours, the lowest in five days. The country’s toll rose by 579 to 1,14,610. India’s active cases stood at 7,72,055, while the recoveries reached 66,63,608. The recovery rate stood at 88.26% and the mortality rate was 1.52%.