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Nasal Covid vaccine can be a gamechanger

Nasal Covid vaccine can be a gamechanger
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Nasal Covid vaccine can be a gamechanger

Highlights

Public health experts believe that intranasal vaccines for coronavirus, administered through nose rather than muscles, can be a potential gamechanger in India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

New Delhi: Public health experts believe that intranasal vaccines for coronavirus, administered through nose rather than muscles, can be a potential gamechanger in India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

The nasal vaccine is different from two intramuscular vaccines which recently got approval, as it is non-invasive, needle-free, doesn't require trained healthcare workers, eliminates needle-associated risks, suits children and adults and has scalable manufacturing.

Several studies have proved that the clinical efficacy of intranasal vaccine is superior to that of injectable vaccine. In India, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has sought Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval to conduct clinical trials of its nasal vaccine for coronavirus.

Last month, Pune-based Serum Institute of India and Codagenix Inc had announced that they have received regulatory approval in the United Kingdom to begin an early-stage trial of their single-dose, intranasal coronavirus vaccine. "At the moment, four vaccines are undergoing phase 1 and 2 of nasal vaccine trials in the world. It can be a gamechanger, but it all depends on whether it is safe and effective," said Lalit Kant, former head of epidemiology and infectious diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Alluding to the advantages of the nasal vaccine, he said its administration does not require syringes, and it is easy to administer, transport and store. "You can immunise a larger number of people in a small amount of time. There would be no need for people to come back for a second dosage," the noted epidemiologist said.

"It is a live attenuated vaccine. When you give it through the nose, there is the mucous membrane in the upper throat, where it gets absorbed and can develop the antibodies. Since it enters the mucous member directly, the absorption is faster," Kant said.

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