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Bharat Biotech’s BBV154 : Intranasal Covid-19 Vaccine

Bharat Biotech’s BBV154:

Bharat Biotech’s BBV154 is the first publicized attempt at getting an intranasal Covid-19 vaccine.

  • Intranasal vaccines are most commonly administered as injectable shots into the muscles (intramuscular) or the tissue just between the skin and the muscles (subcutaneous).
  • However, with intranasal vaccines, the solution is squirted or sprayed into the nostrils and inhaled instead of injecting it.
  • Such vaccines not only aim to overcome barriers to delivery and administration that come with producing and distributing injectable vaccines, they also may be able to tap an additional set of immune cells found in the tissues lining the nose, mouth and lungs.
  • Intranasal vaccines cut down on the need for syringes, needles and other components like alcohol swabs, as they are not injected.
  • Eliminates needle-associated injuries and infections and is easy to administer, as it also does not require trained healthcare workers.
  • It is also a single-dose, making it easier for those receiving the vaccine as well–they would not have to schedule revisits for booster shots the way they would have to with existing, injectable Covid-19 vaccines.

Past attempts to develop intranasal vaccines, including for measles flu, have not been very successful.

  • These vaccines have mostly been made using live, weakened viruses, but have never cleared clinical trials.
  • Only a live attenuated influenza flu vaccine has been licensed through this route of delivery.