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Q: I am afraid of injections. Although I want to take vaccine for Covid 19, my fear for needle pricks is keeping me away. What should I do?

Krishna: Is just a needle prick more harmful than the dreadful complications of Covid described here:

Anyway for people like you other modes of vaccine delivery are being developed. For instance Bharat Biotech is developing (1) BBV154 - A novel adenovirus vectored, intranasal vaccine for COVID-19

The key attributes of this vaccine  are ....

  •  An intranasal vaccine stimulates a broad immune response – neutralizing IgG, mucosal IgA, and T cell responses.
  •  Immune responses at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa) – essential for blocking both infection and transmission of COVID-19.
  • The nasal route has excellent potential for vaccination due to the organized immune systems of the nasal mucosa.
  •  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’s and adults).
  •  Scalable manufacturing – able to meet global demand.

So, intranasal immunization of ChAd-SARS-CoV-2-S can create an immune response in the nose, which is the point of entry for the virus—thereby protecting against disease, infection, and transmission. 

Other vaccines that are being developed are shown in this picture

So you need not worry now. Very soon these would be available and you can go for them.



Q: Can I go for painful vaccines as a 2nd booster dose if previous doses were taken painless?

Krishan: Yes, you can, if you have to. But consider these things before going for it:

Painless vaccine is the popular name of acellular Pertussis (whooping-cough) vaccine . It is generally given as a combination vaccine,DaPT (Diphtheria,acellular-Pertussis , Tetanus).

Painful vaccine is also Pertussis vaccine like the painless vaccine , but it is whole cell vaccine.This too is given as a DwPT combination. So,both these vaccines are Pertussis vaccines, with a few important differentiating factors.

Painful, vaccine (whole-cell) for DPT: Better priming,which means initial sensitization to the antigen (bacteria) is better . Thus antibodyproduction is more and protection is superior.

Painless vaccine has a faster period of waning that is the immunity provided by the painless vaccine decreases faster than the painful vaccine. These two reasons are responsible for recent recurrence of whooping cough in many of the countries using only Painless vaccine.

Painful vaccine is to be preferred in all cases as it gives better protection for a longer duration.

You have to go for painless one when

  • History of severe adverse effect to previous dose of painful vaccine.
  • Child having any neurological problem.
  • Going for booster doses at one and a half years and five years.

Vaccination by inhalation: Many viruses infect their hosts through mucosal surfaces such as the lining of the respiratory tract. MIT researchers have now developed a vaccination strategy that can create an army of T cells that are ready and waiting at those surfaces, offering a quicker response to viral invaders.

The researchers showed that they could induce a strong memory T cell response in the lungs of mice by giving them a vaccine modified to bind to a protein naturally present in mucus. This can help ferry the vaccine across mucosal barriers, such as the lining of the lungs.

In addition to protecting against pathogens that infect the lungs, these types of inhaled vaccines could also be used to treat cancer metastasizing to the lungs or even prevent cancer from developing in the first place, the researchers say.


And now we have vaccines in the form of pills!

COVID-19 Vaccine in The Form of a Pill Is Set to Enter First Clinical Trials

A coronavirus vaccine which exists in pill form could enter the first phases of clinical trials this year.

Oravax, the company working on the substance, announced in a press release that it hopes to begin the first phase of clinical trials in humans by June.

Oral vaccines are an option being assessed for "second-generation" vaccines, which are designed to be more scalable, easier to administer, and simpler to distribute.

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