Bharat Biotech Nasal Booster Trials
The Drug controller General of India has approved the COVAXIN booster trials. These boosters were produced by Bharat Biotech, the same company that produces COVAXIN. The boosters are being introduced for the vulnerable population. The booster doses will provide the strength to fight against the third wave that is violently spreading the Omicron.
About the trials
The trials are to be conducted on 900 volunteers. Apart from this, the trials are to be conducted on another 5000 healthy individuals. Of this, 2,500 are those who have received COVISHIELD and another 2,500 are those who have received COVAXIN. A gap of six months is to be provided between the second dose and the booster dose. After the trials, the booster dose is to be launched in March 2022. The booster dose is an intra nasal vaccine. That is, it is sprayed into the nostrils.
Why intra nasal vaccine?
- The intra nasal vaccine provides the advantage of self administration. It comes in both liquid and dry powder.
- The intra nasal vaccines are mucosal. That is, they are given where the mucosal membrane is present. This includes respiratory, digestive and genitourinary tracts. The intra nasal vaccines provide protection at the site of infection.
- The other type of vaccine is intra muscular vaccine. These vaccines are injected in hand or hip. They induce the entire immune system to generate antibodies all over the body.
- The intra nasal vaccines induces systemic immune response. They induce the creation of mucosal antibody secretion. This works better against different strains and mutants.
Why booster doses?
Booster doses are provided to improve the strength of the immune system against the virus. It is the same vaccine. However, its aim is to increase the level of protection. Also, the booster shots give protection against the new variants. They are highly helpful for the elderly and the vulnerable.