Zydus Cadila's COVID-19 vaccine ZyCov-D was granted an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday, 20 August. It is the first needle-free vaccine against COVID-19.
Earlier this month, Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech also received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct a study by mixing and matching of Covaxin and Adenoviral Intranasal Vaccine, reported News 18.
According to a report by STAT, the vaccines that are being injected into our arm muscles are only fit for giving protection to our lungs from COVID-19, but not our nasal passages. For the protection of our upper respiratory tracts, we might need intranasal vaccines.
What are needleless vaccines? What are intranasal vaccines? How are they used? Are these methods more effective? Here's everything we know.
What is needle-less vaccine?
Needleless vaccines are the ones that are injected using the 'jet injector' method.
In this method, the drug is delivered directly using high pressure through the surface of the skin to the underlying tissues, rather than the drug being injected via a needle reported The Times of India.
How will Zydus Cadila's COVID vaccine be administered?
A needleless method will be used by Zydus. It has been developed by Pharma Jet, a Colorado-based company reported The Indian Express.
A model called 'Tropis', which was approved in Europe in 2017, will be used by the company.
What is the 'Tropis' needle-less model?
According to The Indian Express, the vaccines that are delivered by Tropis are done intradermally, which means high pressure is used on the surface of the skin to deliver the shot.
It has three parts: an injector, a needle-free syringe, and an adapter used for filling.
There are four steps involved in administering the vaccine. First, the injector is prepared. Second, the syringe is filled. Third, the injection is loaded. Finally, the injection is administered on the Deltoid area.
Has this method of vaccination been used before?
Yes, it is an old technique. This method of vaccination first came up in 1866 and was also used in 1960s when there was an outbreak of smallpox.
What are the benefits of needle-free vaccines?
Needle-free vaccines can help in avoiding side-effects, such as rashes, swelling of the arm, or soreness in the arm, unlike intramuscular injections.
What is intranasal vaccine?
A nasal vaccine is administered through the nose and does not require a needle.
The immunity, after getting the intranasal vaccine, is generated via the inner surface of the nose that comes in contact with many microorganisms in the air.
What are the benefits of intranasal vaccine?
According to National Library of Medicine, intranasal vaccination provides protection to the nasal passage whereas intramuscular vaccination primarily focuses on systemic immune response.
Intranasal vaccines are also simpler to use and can be easily administered to children and elderly patients.
Since it is needle-free, it is less painful and non-invasive.
Is any intranasal vaccine being prepared in India?
Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech received approval for phase 2 of 3 of clinical trials for its COVID-19 intranasal vaccine from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) on Friday, 13 August.
It is being developed in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology and its PSU, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC). The vaccine is called BBV154.
What type of vaccine is BBV154?
BBV154 is being manufactured by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology and its PSU, the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC).
Oxford/AstraZeneca's Covishield is similar to BBV154 as it is a chimpanzee adenovirus SARS-CoV-2 vectored vaccine. But BBV154 will be available in the form of nasal spray, reported Quint FIT.
The trails for phase 1 took place in the age group of 18 to 60 years and it was reported by the firm that there were 'no serious adverse effects'.
When will it be available for use in India?
As of now, there is no timeline that has been given. Currently, it is in its trial phase.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and Times of India)