Covid-19: How nasal, one-shot and passive vaccines work

Single-shot, intranasal vaccines will be easy to use, will bring down cost, experts have said.
Most Covid-19 vaccine candidates require two shots and are administered through the muscles.(REUTERS)
Most Covid-19 vaccine candidates require two shots and are administered through the muscles.(REUTERS)
Updated on Sep 26, 2020 09:17 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

In the ongoing race for an effective Covid-19 vaccine, several pharma companies are exploring off the beaten path. Johnson & Johnson is conducting a trial of a single-shot vaccine, while traditional vaccine candidates require two shots. Bharat Biotech has announced manufacturing of intranasal vaccine, which will set it apart from the intramuscular ones.

Here is all you need to know about these non-traditional vaccines

Nasal vaccines

Most Covid-19 vaccine candidates are intramuscular where the shots are injected into the muscles. This process requires medical professionals, equipment etc. Intranasal vaccines can do away with this. It can be self-administered thereby reducing cost.

Bharat Biotech has inked a licencing agreement with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, the US, for such vaccines.

“We are proud to collaborate on this innovative vaccine. We envision that we will scale this vaccine to one billion doses. Individuals can be vaccinated by a single dose regimen. An intranasal vaccine will not only be simple to administer but also reduce the use of medical consumables such as needles, syringes, etc, significantly impacting the overall cost of a vaccination drive,” said Krishna Ella, chairman and managing director (MD), Bharat Biotech.

Also Read: China aims to make 1 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses a year

One-shot vaccines

The vaccines being developed by Moderna, Pfizer, and Astrazeneca are all double shots which are being administered to participants in a gap of several weeks. Johnson & Johnson and the intranasal vaccine Bharat Biotech is collaborating will be single shots. Like intranasal vaccines, these are also aimed at making the process easy.

“The benefits of a single-shot vaccine are potentially profound in terms of mass immunization campaigns and global pandemic control,” Dr. Dan Barouch, a Harvard vaccine researcher who helped design J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine, told Reuters.

A single dose of Johnson & Johnson’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine produced a strong immune response against the novel coronavirus in an early-to-mid stage clinical trial, Johnson & Johnson’s interim results published on Friday claimed.

Also Read: Covid-19 vaccine: When will US get its first vaccine?

Passive vaccines

Development of passive vaccines for Covid-19 is a possibility as scientists have identified highly effective antibodies against the novel coronavirus.

Unlike in active vaccination, passive vaccination involves the administration of ready-made antibodies, which are degraded after some time.

The scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Charite - Universitatsmedizin Berlin isolated almost 600 different antibodies from the blood of individuals who had overcome COVID-19, reported PTI

This is the mechanism in which plasma therapy works, but scientists are now exploring whether this can be used for the immunisation of people who are not yet infected by Covid-19.

(With agency inputs)

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