Will India get its first intranasal Covid vaccine?

Is India likely to get its first intranasal Covid vaccine in near future?

The mixing of vaccines is being mulled in order to gauge which option would produce the longest immune response

A vial of Covaxin. Credit: AFP Photo

Is India likely to get its first intranasal Covid vaccine in the near future? Bharat Biotech is exploring the possibility.

The Covaxin maker is working on an intranasal Covid vaccine, BBV154, which is currently in phase 2 of its clinical trial, reported Business Standard.

How would it work?

Biotech is working on 3 possibilities:

1. 2 intranasal shots of BBV154

2. A Covaxin jab followed by the nasal vaccine BBV154

3. A Covaxin jab after the nasal vaccine BBV154

The mixing of vaccines is being mulled in order to gauge which option would produce the longest immune response.

“While the nasal vaccine can be administered as two shots, the company is testing whether combining it with Covaxin gives better results. Thus, this can be used as a mix-and-match with Covaxin to produce a more holistic immune response,” a source was quoted telling Business Standard.

On just taking an intramuscular jab, Shahid Jameel, senior virologist and director at Ashoka University, said the nasal mucosa is protected by different kinds of antibodies called IgA antibodies.

“This is not sufficiently generated when a vaccine is administered through the intramuscular route,” Jameel told Business Standard.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox