While the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination has begun on a good note, the bid to develop other modes of vaccination are still being explored.Additionally, in a recent study, it was reported that nasal vaccines in the form of nasal sprays are being developed by a US company called Altimmune, who claim that it can be more effective in preventing COVID-19 transmissions, especially in children.
What is the difference between nasal and injected vaccines?
Injected or traditional vaccines are injected into the skin with the help of injections (needles). On the contrary, nasal vaccines target the virus present in the mucosal membranes and are given via nose, rather than orally or through the arm.
Nasal vaccines can be sprayed into the nostrils. It can be done with the help of a syringe with no needle, a nasal spray, liquid medicine or special aerosol delivery.
How do nasal vaccines function?
It is believed that most viruses, including the ones associated with SARs-COV-2, enter the body through the mucosa and infect the cells and molecules present in the mucosal membranes. That said, nasal vaccines intercept the virus in the nose and cause your immune system to make proteins in your blood and in your nose to combat the virus. This also prevents the virus from doubling in number.How effective can nasal vaccines (nasal sprays) be, according to study
A biotech startup called Altimmunce based in Maryland, USA, is in a bid to develop a nasal spray to fight COVID-19.
The startup company started their trial of the intranasal vaccine - AdCOVID - on a group of 180 individuals, ranging from 18 to 55 years of age and studied the effectiveness of vaccine, along with the kind of side-effects it prompts and the number of antibodies and T-cells it produces.
In an interview, Dr. Buddy Creech, Director of Vanderbilt University vaccine-research program and someone who worked with Altimmune, said, "Delivering vaccines to the sight of first exposure is an advantage." "Typically, you don't get COVID-19 in the deltoid muscle of your arm - you get it in your nose, eyes, and throat. So it makes sense we'd want to at least consider a vaccine that can generate some immunity in mucosal orifices, " he adds.
The nasal vaccine looks forward to creating a separate line of defense in the mucosal membrane and prompts the immune system to produce antibodies that can block the infection.
(Times of India)