When most people think of vaccines, the first thing that comes to their minds is a long needle attached to a syringe followed by a sharp poke in the arm. However, this is about to change.
The Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech is testing the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, BBV154, that wouldn't require a shot, and it has received regulatory approval for mid-to-late-stage trials. This is incredible progress that many people are excited to witness.
BBV154 is an intranasal vaccine that stimulates a broad immune response – neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses. This kind of immune response is essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19.
Most people who don't like needles are excited because delivering a vaccine through a pill or a nasal spray is ideal and much easier for everyone.
Early-stage tests of the vaccine candidate, BBV154, have been completed in subjects aged 18 to 60 years, and the doses were found to be very effective with negligible side effects. The Ministry of Science & Technology in India said in a statement, "Phase 1 Clinical trial has been completed in age groups ranging ≥18 to ≤60 years. The company reports that the vaccine doses administered to healthy volunteers in Phase I clinical trial have been well tolerated."
After this statement, Bharat Biotech moved forward into a phase 2 clinical trial. According to the company, BBV154 is very likely to prevent infection and transmission. In addition, the Bharat Biotech uses the natural ability of the nasal mucosa to fight potential infection.
Other advantages of this vaccine:
- Non-invasive, Needle-free.
- Ease of administration – does not require trained health care workers.
- Elimination of needle-associated risks (injuries and infections)
- High compliance (Ideally suits for children and adults)
- Scalable manufacturing – able to meet global demand
Another biotech company in San Francisco, Vaxart, is working on a COVID vaccine delivered in an oral tablet. Vaxart chief scientific officer Sean Tucker told Axios he started the company because he found it difficult to get his flu shot every year. He wanted to unlock the full potential of oral vaccines.
The company announced this week that today announced that Dr. Sean Tucker will present at the World Vaccine & Immunotherapy Congress West Coast 2021 in San Diego on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. Dr. Tucker will provide an overview of Vaxart’s development program for its oral tablet COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
Stay tuned. A lot of great things are happening in needle-free vaccine development.