Bhubaneswar Among Trial Sites For India’s First Nasal COVID-19 Vaccine

New Delhi: Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech is all set to start phase 1 and 2 trials of a nasal vaccine for COVID-19 at Gillurkar Multi Speciality in Nagpur.

“We are working on a nasal vaccine and have partnered with the Washington University School of Medicine. We are working on a single dose vaccine compare to two-dose inactivated vaccine. Research has proven that the nasal vaccine is the best choice. Coronavirus also attacks through the nose,” Bharat Biotech’s head Dr Kirshna Ella was quoted as saying by India Today.

“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,” Dr Chandrashekar Gillurkar was quoted as saying by India Today.

The trials will be conducted on at least 30-45 healthy volunteers above the age of 18 till the age of 65 years at four trial sites in the country – Bhubaneswar, Pune, Nagpur and Hyderabad.

Bharat Biotech is working on two intranasal vaccines, one with US-based vaccine maker FluGen and scientists from the University of Wisconsin Madison and the other with the University of Washington School of Medicine.

A study done by the University of Washington School of Medicine in St Louis found that the nasal delivery route created a strong immune response throughout the body, but it was particularly effective in the nose and respiratory tract, preventing the infection from taking hold in the body.

According to experts, the new COVID-19 vaccine has the potential to become a game-changer because injecting the vaccine intramuscularly only protects the lower lung. A nasal vaccine can protect both upper and lower lung and can prevent transmission of the virus as well as an infection.

Dr Samiran Panda, senior epidemiologist at Indian Council of Medical Research was quoted as saying that nasal vaccine provides benefits such as faster absorption, lesser volume and no use of syringes.

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