Covid nasal vaccine: Will it be a game-changer as cases rise?
Covid-19 is still looming large in several countries, which has led to a scare among the authorities in India. Ahead of the coronavirus scare, the Indian government approved the use of a nasal vaccine for Covid. Reports suggest that India is the first country in the world to approve the emergency use of the nasal vaccine. With vaccination still your best guard against virulent disease, it is best to get inoculated with the booster dose, which is the vaccine given to patients once they have received the first two doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
If you’re wondering what the Covid nasal vaccine is and how it works, we have you covered! Health shots reached out to Dr Suruchi Mandrekar, who is a consultant internal medicine at Manipal Hospitals in Baner-Pune to know more about it.
What is the nasal vaccine for Covid?
For the uninitiated, the government of India approved the use of the nasal vaccine for Covid-19. It will serve as a heterologous booster. The vaccine, which is named iNCOVACC, will be added to the Co-win portal to allow people to access it in an emergency. The nasal coronavirus vaccine will also be accessible in private institutions as a part of the vaccination campaign.
“The nasal vaccine is similar to Covaxine and it is a vector vaccine. Therefore, the same adenovirus is altered and engineered in a way that does not cause any harm but instead provides immunity,”
As per reports, two doses of the nasal vaccine will be given as the primary and booster dose within 28 days.
Also Read: Covid fear grips China: Does the threat loom large in India?
How does the nasal vaccine for Covid work?
Previously, people were getting inoculated with a vaccine filled with liquid, which was injected into their nerves. Now, Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech has introduced the Covid nasal vaccine, which will be delivered through the nose.
Dr Mandrekar explained, “The nasal vaccine was recently introduced, which will work very well as a booster dose to improve immunity. It will also improve the immunogenicity of the nasal area which is exactly the area from where the Covid virus enters the body. It has had two trials – phase 1 and phase 2 so we are yet to see its impact on the larger population.”
Nasal vaccine will be effective against new variants
With new variants resurfacing and leading the charge in countries like China, USA, and UK, India is also strengthening the curbs and making sure that the virus remains under control as has been the case for the past year. The introduction of new booster shots can be a boon in the midst of the rising concern.
Highlighting the effectiveness of the vaccine, Dr Mandrekar says, “As the new variant of COVID is surfacing, this nasal vaccine will be very effective. As most of our population has already been vaccinated, this sub-variant of omicron will not be very serious as we have already developed immunity against this virus.”
Are there any side effects of the nasal vaccine?
Since it is administered nasally, the expert shared that it is a “good step towards combating the virus and will not have any side effects as per the clinical trials of phase 2.”
She added that the nasal vaccine is going to be given as a booster dose. Hence, people who are vaccinated and have shown no side effects are most likely to not experience side effects.
In the meantime, it is best to mask up, maintain physical distance and keep your hands clean and sanitised.