Is Nasal Covid Vaccine A Supplementary To Injectable Covid Vaccine?

With India’s large population and increasing virulence and mutation in the virus, the need of vaccinating everyone is more than ever

Jigyasa Nagpal
Written by: Jigyasa NagpalPublished at: Jul 16, 2021Updated at: Jul 16, 2021
Is Nasal Covid Vaccine A Supplementary To Injectable Covid Vaccine?

Those who do not know about the nasal vaccine are also a way to defeat the coronavirus. With the immunization process in full force, there are possibilities of shortage of injections too. Hence, nasal vaccine could be the next big help. Knowledge and possibilities of this kind of vaccination should also be provided to make people aware of the same effectiveness. The health care professionals, scientists, epidemiologists are constantly working to find and test various vaccine delivery system. Recent development includes nasal vaccination. With the third wave indicating more effect on children’s health, we need to make preparations for them. PM Modi has himself supported nasal vaccine program to accelerate vaccination drive across India.


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Dr Anshu Punjabi, Consultant-Pulmonologist & Sleep Medicine Expert, Fortis Hospital, Mulund shares views on the need, development and working of nasal vaccines. 

What is a Nasal Vaccine?

  • Nasal Vaccines are the next hope helping with the normal injectable vaccines. Intranasal vaccines are as the name suggests are to be administered via nose.
  • Codagenix/ Covivac by SII and BBV154 by Bharat Biotech are among the 8 intranasal COVID vaccine producing companies, the trials and approval in all countries are not done yet.
  • Countries like China and Russia have begun trials for nasal vaccines, especially for children, and if successful, it could be beneficial for India’s vaccination program too.

For now, Canada is the first country to approve Pfizer’s Nasal vaccine.

How is this better?

  • It creates a robust immune response
  • Being a nasal vaccine it seems an attractive and promising alternative
  • It provides local immunity in the respiratory tract
  • It is helpful for fast-tracking India’s vaccination program
  • They are likely to induce effective, long-lasting immunity

How does Nasal Vaccination Work?

The target of this vaccine is the virus present or attacking the mucosal area of the nose. This is a better way for injection as absorption is faster.

The principle here is to stop the entry of the virus into the lungs so that further damage does not occur. The dose injected creates the antibody IgA from the B cells of mucosa and the T cells keep the memory for the next attack. Hence, the mucosa helps induce an effective immune response, which will prevent the coronavirus infection. The transmission of the virus can be effectively reduced too. The easy delivery of the nasal vaccine will also reduce dependency on the need for using syringes, preventing related infections, or other supplementary chemicals/ equipment for a medical setup such as swabs. This makes the vaccination process time-saving and economical.

Delivery Mode-

  • Syringe without needle
  • Nasal spray
  • Liquid medicine
  • Aerosol delivery

A word of Vigilance

The developments of vaccine are taking place, some effectively tested, some still in trials. While this is in place, along with optimism, we have to be cautious too. This makes us more responsible for continue to take as many steps as we can to stay healthy and take care of our family. The instance of nasal Flu vaccine is an example of an ineffective nasal shot due to which till the time complete trials are not done, the complete reliability is not possible.


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With the hanging cloud of the third wave, the government and health institutions are trying to work together to implement measures to prevent the outbreak again. As responsible citizens, we should be vigilant and take all basic and necessary steps to protect ourselves and the children. Keep wearing masks, maintain social distancing, avoid crowding and complete your vaccination doses.

With inputs from Dr. Anshu Punjabi, Consultant-Pulmonologist & Sleep Medicine Expert, Fortis Hospital, Mulund

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