News: India gets its first nasal covid vaccine.
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About India’s first intra-nasal vaccine for COVID-19:
- It will be India’s first intra-nasal vaccine that will be delivered through the nose instead of a shot in the arm.
- Product name of the vaccine is iNCOVACC and it is Bharat Biotech’s ChAd36-SARS-CoV-S COVID-19 (Chimpanzee Adenovirus Vectored).
- Country’s apex drug regulator body Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO)has given approval to the vaccine for emergency use in adults.
- Bharat Biotech has developed the vaccine with technology in-licensed from Washington University-St Louis.
- Vaccine has been approved for primary immunisation ( it can be given to the unimmunised to protect against Covid-19).
- So far, intranasal vaccination is being used only for influenza but with this addition intranasal vaccine can also be used for COVID-19.
- Bharat Biotech vaccine rides on an adenovirus vector.
Bharat Biotech’s statement on iNCOVACC:
- iNCOVACC is a recombinant replication-deficient adenovirus vectored vaccine with a pre-fusion stabilized spike protein.
- Evaluation of iNCOVACC in Phase-I, II and III clinical trials has showed the successful efficiency of intra-nasal delivery through nasal drops.
- Bharat Biotech in its statement said that nasal delivery system will be cost-effective in low- and middle-income countries.
Trials for Booster:
- Company’s trial found the vaccine to be “safe, well-tolerated, and immunogenic” when compared to its own Covaxin in a phase III trial of nearly 3,100 participants across 14 sites in India.
- The company has also conducted a trial with 875 participants to see whether the vaccine may be used as a booster in those who have received Covaxin or Covishield as their primary vaccine.
Benefits of nasal vaccines over conventional vaccines:
- No need for needles and syringes that is currently required for Covid-19 vaccine as the vaccine being delivered through a nasal spray.
- Dependency on trained personnel to give shots will get reduced and hence pave way for efficient distribution.
- Nasal vaccine triggers an immune response in the mucosal membrane: Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid vaccine (BBV154) produce local antibodies in the upper respiratory tract which may provide the potential to reduce infection and transmission.
- Pave way for efficient distribution and easy administration of COVID-19 Vaccination: As iNCOVACC is stable at 2-8°C for easy storage and distribution.
- iNCOVACC enables mass immunisation through easy nasal delivery. Hence, it become an important tool in mass vaccinations during pandemics and endemics.
- It protects from emerging variants of concern by enabling faster development of variant-specific vaccines.
Studies in support of Nasal Vaccine for COVID-19:
- Science Direct study showed the pre-clinical efficacy of nasal COVID-19 lentiviral vector vaccine. The Authors of the study said that targeting the immune response to the upper respiratory tract and intranasal vaccination provides critical protection, and induces protective mucosal immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 in rodents. A safe and efficacious nasal vaccine is well-placed to target the literal entry point of the virus into the body as SARS-CoV-2 virus shows a proclivity to dwell in the upper respiratory tract for a prolonged period of time.
- Researchers at Lancaster University working with the Biomedical Research Institute in Texas claimed that administering two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine via a nasal spray in animals had elicited robust antibodies and T-cell responses that were enough to neutralise SARS-CoV-2.
Studies that are apprehensive about suitability of nasal vaccine for COVID-19:
- A study from Washington University found that while a COVID-19 vaccine injection (at that stage) induced an immune response that prevented pneumonia, it did not prevent infection in the nose and lungs. Such a vaccine might reduce the severity of COVID-19, but it could not prevent infected individuals from spreading the virus, said the study.
Sources:-Indian Express; The Hindu
- The Hindu:-https://bit.ly/3KZbZdj ; https://bit.ly/3L3BCti
- Indian Express:-bit.ly