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Tags Current Affairs

Nasal covid-19 vaccine

Date: 16 July 2020 Tags: Biotechnology

Issue

Several research groups and firms in the United States, Canada and India, are working on nasal coronavirus vaccines that will deliver medicine through inhalation.

 

Background

 Instead of a jab into the upper arm, these types of vaccines will be delivered to the respiratory tract, either via a nasal spray or aerosol delivery.

 

Details

  • Since coronavirus is a respiratory infection and invades the airway, have said administering a vaccine at the entry points would train the mucosa to identify Covid-19 and block it from getting through.

  • Scientists have identified two specific types of cells in the nose as the likely initial infection points for SARS-CoV2.

  • Mucous membranes are squishy tissues that line the surfaces of internal organs like lungs and respiratory tract and catch pathogens that try to get into the body.

  • While an intramuscular vaccination mainly induces an antibody response, a nasal vaccination is beneficial as it triggers mucosal, as well as systemic immunity.

  • Moreover, intranasal vaccination may also offer protection at other mucosal sites such as the lungs, intestines and genital tract.

  • T cells and B cells are the major cellular components of the body’s immune response. In normal circumstances, upon vaccination, B cells would provide antibodies called IgG to search for pathogens.

  • Other cells called T cells, either helps B cells produce antibodies or seek out and destroy infected cells.

  • In case of intranasal vaccination, the B cells that reside around mucosal tissues can make another type of antibody called IgA, that plays a large role in heeling gut and airway pathogens.

  • Nearby T cells can then memorise the features of specific pathogens and patrol the places they first encountered them.

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