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Current Affairs

BBV154 vaccine

Date: 26 January 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

An expert body has been looking into Bharat Biotech’s application for testing its proposed single-dose intranasal Covid-19 vaccine, BBV154.

 

Details

  • Vaccines are most commonly administered as injectable shots into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue just between the skin and the muscles (subcutaneous).

  • However, with intranasal vaccines, the solution is squirted or sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled instead of injecting it.

  • It is not the most common route of administering a vaccine and, so far, only some flu shots are given this way.

 

Benefits

  • Such vaccines not only aim to overcome barriers to delivery and administration that come with producing and distributing injectable vaccines, they also may be able to tap an additional set of immune cells found in the tissues lining the nose, mouth, and lungs.

  • Intranasal vaccines cut down on the need for syringes, needles, and other components like alcohol swabs, as they are not injected.

  • BBV154 is non-invasive and eliminates needle-associated injuries, infections and is easy to administer, as it also does not require trained healthcare workers.

  • It is also a single-dose, making it easier for those receiving the vaccine as well–they would not have to schedule revisits for booster shots the way they would have to with existing, injectable Covid-19 vaccines.

 

Issues

  • Past attempts to develop intranasal vaccines, including for measles flu, have not been very successful.

  • These vaccines have mostly been made using live, weakened viruses, but have never cleared clinical trials. Only a live attenuated influenza flu vaccine has been licenced through this route of delivery.

  • While the company says that animal studies have shown promise, it remains to be seen how safe and effective this vaccine may actually be when tested on humans.