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Medicos Laud India’s First Upcoming Nasal Vax; Admit Global R&D Still Required

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By: Anmol Singla
Updated: October 30, 2021 21:05
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Even as India celebrated the 100 Crore vaccine dose mark last week, Dr. Krishna Ella who is the founder of Bharat Biotech, maker of indegenious ‘Covaxin’ told The New Indian that his company will be bringing the first nasal Covid vaccine and is expected to launch within the first few months of 2022. Dr. Ella also claimed that the implication of nasal vaccines could result in a permanent removal of face masks. This news comes at a time when people have become casual and may want to remove masks. 

Dr. Ella talked in detail about this nasal vaccine being a multi-vial shot and so on. Watch The New Indian’s exclusive interview: Hurt By Bullying On COVAXIN Just Because PM Took It; We’re Just Scientists, Undeterred By Attack, Bringing India’s Nasal Vax Now: Bharat Biotech MD (Part 1)

To delve further into this field, especially the implications that the nasal vaccine will have on children, The New Indian reached out to several doctors across various spectrums to seek their opinion.  

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Dr. Sachin Ambekar, Medical Administrator of Moolchand Hospital welcomed the nasal vaccine while also expressing concern over it’s efficacy and said that a global research on the same is essential. Speaking about Covid vaccines for children, Dr. Ambekar said,

“The nasal vaccine is one of the most comfortable vaccines for children as it does not involve any pricks but the efficacy and the immunisation, whether the nasal tissue will be able to take this vaccine into the system and give an overall efficacy, is still being worked upon.”  

Raising the question of the removal of masks, Dr. Ambekar said that since it was not confirmed whether the vaccine would be eradicative in nature, it would be advisable to follow government protocols and wear masks even if one is fully vaccinated.

As the festival season comes upon India, the fear of a surge in covid case numbers has risen. This concern especially lies amongst parents and guardians of children who have been categorised as the most vulnerable especially after the emergence of multiple variants of the virus. To clear the fog around this diaspora, The New Indian reached out to Dr. Raju Shah, Consulting Pediatrician at the Ankur Institute of Child Health and the former president of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. 

Dr. Shah spoke extensively on children vaccines, lauding the upcoming indeginous nasal covid vaccine, he said that once checks are done and the license is issued it would only be a matter of time before children are vaccinated too.

Cautioning the public, Dr. Shah said, “Ultimately the people who have received both the doses are protected from the disease, individuals who have just completed one dose need to complete their dosage to make sure that there are no unnecessary outbreaks and the chain of infection is broken.”  

Addressing concerned voices asking about the long term effects of covid vaccines administered to children, Dr. Shah said that in the pediatrics section, numerous vaccines are given and the benefits far outweigh any rare occurrences. This vaccine could also lead to the eradication of various diseases from the world map. 

Trying to look at the situation through a global lens, The New Indian reached out to USA-based Dr. Devang Sanghavi, Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit, Mayo Clinic, Florida. Dr. Sanghavi commended India’s upcoming Covid nasal vaccine and said that the implementation of such a vaccine would ease the supply chain as production of this vaccine is comparatively easier than needle-based vaccines.

Dr. Sanghavi stated that if the efficacy of the nasal vaccine is proven, the possibility of individuals infecting each other through ‘nasal residue’ would decrease and would directly result in the possible removal of masks. On Friday, as the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine for children aged five to eleven, Dr. Shah expressed his hope that the same could be achieved in the Indian subcontinent too. 

“People say that kids do not get sick as often as adults and are immune to this virus, but we have seen, especially with the Delta variant, that more kids got infected. They may not need hospitalisation but they can infect others. You do not want another Covid wave like the one that happened in India. That is why it is very important that kids get vaccinated. The downside for kids taking the vaccine is minimal as compared to getting the disease,” Dr. Sanghavi told The New Indian when asked about concerns regarding vaccines for children.

After speaking with pioneers and experts on the possible nasal covid vaccine, one can only hope that this vaccine comes soon enough so that the terrible memories associated with the Covid-19 pandemic can be a long forgotten past. 

Also WATCH & READ: The New Indian’s Exclusive Conversation with Delhi’s First Covid Patient

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