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Current Affairs

Intranasal covid vaccine

Date: 01 February 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The clinical trials of intranasal booster doses against Covid-19 have been approved by Drugs Controller General of India.

 

Background

The experimental drug is manufactured by Covaxin-producer Bharat Biotech. It will be tested as a standalone two-dose vaccine and as a booster vaccine for recipients of Covaxin or Covishield.

 

Details

  • Most of the existing vaccines are administered to the body through jabbing into the upper arm. It is not the only way of delivering the vaccine.

  • In intranasal route, the vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled instead of jabbing into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue between skin and muscle.

  • The other way of delivering would be through oral administration, which is usually carried out in infants.

 

Efficiency of intranasal route

  • The Coronavirus enters the body through mucosa, which is present in nose, mouth, lungs and digestive tract. This triggers a unique immune response from cells and molecules there.

  • Intramuscular vaccines cannot generate mucosal response and instead use immune cells mobilised from other parts to the site of infection. 

  • The intranasal vaccine is expected to act against the virus from the time it tries to break the body’s barrier, making it more effective.

 

Working

  • The intranasal vaccine will trigger another set of immune cells that are present around mucosal tissues instead of traditional antibodies from blood (IgG).

  • These antibodies, known as IgA, will attack the pathogen present near the air pathway. The T cells in the vicinity will remember the pathogen the next time around.

 

Benefits associated

  • It will be easier to administer in mass vaccination drives. It can give larger coverage in a short duration of time.

  • It will reduce the cost associated with the use of needles and syringes as they can be administered in form of spray.

  • There will not be need for trained personnel for administering the vaccine and the manpower can be deployed for other purposes.

 

Concerns associated

The previous attempts to deliver vaccine through this method have not produced the required result in humans.