EXCLUSIVE: Intranasal vaccines can be given as a booster dose too: Expert

Updated on Sep 07, 2021 08:52 PM IST  |  47.7K
Intranasal vaccines will directly act in the nasal passage

The race of developing more and more COVID-19 vaccines is picking up pace. Scientists worldwide are on the go. From booster doses to a cocktail of vaccines, experts are analyzing all possibilities in order to at least minimize the spread of COVID-19, if not completely eradicate it from the world.

The newest addition to the list of all probable vaccines is the intranasal ones. While some of these are still under Phase 2/3 trials, the future of these looks bright.

Dr. Sandeep Nayar, Senior Director and HOD, Centre for Chest and Respiratory Disease, BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital, tells you that these vaccines work by targeting the nasal passage as the viral load is said to be present there.

“Intranasal vaccine is a new concept under works. It is suggested that all or at least the major viral load of COVID is in the nasal passage, so whenever a virus will try to attack you, the vaccine will build a shield against it. They will target the immune cells present in the respiratory passage and prevent the virus from aboding to the lungs,” explains Nayar. This can be given directly into the nasal cavity in the form of syringes, nasal drops, or sprays, he adds.

The efficacy is said to be comparable to the intramuscular ones. “On paper, they say the efficacy is comparable to the intramuscular ones, but since it is acting directly it might as well be even better. At present, Bharat Biotech is also contemplating that maybe it can be given as a booster dose to the already vaccinated ones,” Nayar tells.

Since the vaccine is still under trial, Nayar says, it is difficult to predict its side effects. “Let us see how it pans out once it is out in the market. What is its antibody response and how robust it is, we have to wait and watch,” he says.

The vaccine, he adds, can be given as a two-dose one to all the unvaccinated people in the coming time, but for now, the focus is to give it as a booster dose to the already vaccinated people and see the results.

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