The government recently approved the inclusion of an intranasal Covid vaccine in the vaccination programme as a booster dose for adults. The inclusion comes amid a surge in cases in China and some other countries.

 

What is a nasal vaccine?

  • In nasal approach, the vaccine dose is given via nose, rather than orally or through the arm.
  • As the target is to deliver a dose which goes right into the respiratory pathways, the vaccine is either injected through a specific nasal spray or through aerosol delivery.
  • As the virus normally enters the body through the nose, the nasal vaccine causes immune system to make proteins in the blood and in the nose that help you fight the virus.
  • A doctor will spray the vaccine into nostrils with a small syringe that has no needle. It usually takes about two weeks for it to start to work.
  • Given the potency and rapid spread of the coronavirus, it makes sense to develop vaccines for the airway as well as the more standard jabs.

 

Benefits of nasal vaccine

  • An effective nasal dose not only protects against Covid- 19, but it also prevents the spread of the disease by offering another kind of immunity that occurs primarily in the cells that line the nose and throat.
  • The nasal vaccine targets immune cells present in the mucosal membrane and tissue- which provides systematic as well as mucosal immunity present in other sites such as lungs and the intestines. Hence, a nasal vaccine may be more capable of inoculating crowds against the deadly infection and prevent even mild symptoms from developing.
  • An intranasal vaccine will not only be simple to administer but reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles, syringes, etc., significantly impacting the overall cost of a vaccination drive.
  • The ability to accomplish effective immunisation with a single nasal dose is a major advantage, offering broader reach and easier administration.