New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days after getting DCGI nod for emergency use authorisation for 'Covaxin', Bharat Biotech has said that it is currently working on a nasal vaccine against COVID-19 and is all set to start the phase 1 and phase 2 trials at the Gillurkar Multi Speciality in Maharashtra's Nagpur.

Giving more information about the naval vaccine, a senior Bharat Biotech official said that it has partnered with Washington University School of Medicine for the roll out and are working on a single dose vaccine compare to a two-dose inactivated vaccine.

The official further said that the trials will be conducted on 30 to 45 volunteers aged between 18 to 65 years. The trials will be conducted in Nagpur, Hyderabad, Bhuvneshwar and Pune, the official added.

"We are all set to host the trials for the nasal Covaxin in the next two weeks. Enough scientific evidence is available that vaccines given through nasal route are more effective than injected ones. Bharat Biotech is in the process to submit a proposal to the DCGI shortly," Bharat Biotech's Dr Chandrashekar Gillurkar was quoted by India Today as saying.

What is a nasal vaccine?

A nasal vaccine is one which is administered to a patient via the respiratory tract and does not require a needle. It directly targets the immune cells and induces immunity -- both mucosal and systemic -- through the inner surface of the nose.

Are nasal vaccines better than injected ones?

As per some experts, COVID-19 vaccines that can be given by a spray in the nose can help people vaccinate themselves easily. They claim that nasal vaccines can "cut down on the dependence on various trained personnel to administer the vaccine".

However, several experts claim that nasal vaccines are "largely untested" and "there really isn't much of a precedent for using such a vaccine".

"The nasal flu vaccines which are live-attenuated vaccines have not done hugely well. We don’t know if it’s a problem with the fact that they are flu vaccines, or whether it is an issue with it being a nasal vaccine," Indian Express quoted vaccine scientist Dr Gagandeep Kang as saying.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma