New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Of at least 163 vaccine candidates that are currently undergoing various phases of trials (pre-clinical or clinical), most aim to be used through injection jabs into arms as the conventional norm of administering vaccines has been worldwide. However, a group of researchers have now pointed out that to counter a respiratory virus like COVID-19, administering a vaccine through needle prick in the arm may not be the best strategy, and instead, mucosal vaccines that are adminaistered through nasal pathway could be a better alternative.

“Knowing how potent mucosal responses can be against a viral pathogen, it would be ideal to be thinking about mucosal vaccines,” Akiko Iwasaki, an immunologist at Yale University was quoted as saying by New York Times.

What is a Nasal Vaccine?

A nasal vaccine is delivered to the respiratory tract, through an aerosol or nasal spray mode. A nasal vaccine directly targets the immune cells that are present in and around the mucosal tissues. A conventional mode of vaccination, on the other hand, induces an antibody response, whereas a nasal mode of vaccination generates both mucosal as well as the systemic immunity.

Who all are working on a nasal COVID vaccine?

Several research groups working on COVID-19 vaccine candidates in Canada, Netherlands, and the United States which can be administered through the mucus-rich nasal surface.

Massachusetts-based Biopharmaceutical firm Altimmune in the US said in a statement that its vaccine candidate has shown strong serum neutralising activity along with ‘potent mucosal immunity’ in the respiratory tract. The company expects to start manufacturing the doses of its vaccine candidate AdCOVID by the end of this year.

Other than Altimmune, Canada’s University of Waterloo’s vaccine candidate, as well as Intravacc, the Dutch vaccine candidate, too, if trials remain successful, would be administered as a Nasal Vaccines respectively.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma