Now that COVID-19 vaccines are on the market for infants and toddlers, many parents now ask if the Covid-19 vaccine is only available via shot. In this article, find out what other options we have.
The Milken Institute COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccine Tracker report that more than 276 vaccines are in the pipeline. Although injectable vaccination is the most familiar to vaccine makers, other administration methods, such as oral and intranasal administration, are currently in experimental phases for use in the United States.
Nasal vaccinations have been licensed in countries like China, India, and Russia, but the versions being developed in the United States are not yet at an approval stage. Currently, in the United States, only injectable vaccines are recommended and approved for use in anyone 6 months or older.
Manufacturers widely understand injectable Vaccine Since the technology behind injectable COVID-19 vaccines, vaccines like those supplied by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have taken the lead. Because of the critical nature of this Vaccine, tried-and-true methods are the most efficient way to get results quickly.
There has been ongoing research into expanding the number of vaccines administered through the mucosa. Injectable vaccinations, however, are far simpler to create.
The injectable Vaccine is more likely to reach its intended target and stay there. The body’s natural reactions, such as sneezing and vomiting, threaten the elimination of mucosal vaccinations.
However, needles can be dangerous for healthcare workers and cause considerable discomfort, and injectable vaccines have worse thermostability (the ability to sustain efficacy at different temperatures). The fear of needles or the pain they inflict may prevent some people from being vaccinated.
Furthermore, the only type of immunity provided by this technique is systemic, which kicks in immediately after the virus has entered the bloodstream. Both the oral and nasal methods promise to provide systemic protection in addition to mucosal immunity, which is necessary.
Under the umbrella term “mucosal vaccinations,” both oral and intranasal vaccines are included. This is because both vaccinations can successfully stimulate both mucosal and systemic immune responses.
The lining of the nasal cavity and mouth (the mucosa) is home to immune cells that can establish a local defense against viruses that penetrate these areas.
Some persons may still be infected with the virus even after receiving an injectable vaccine. Many people get vaccinated without considering that they might have to wear a mask afterward. They may be immune to illness but could still spread the infection with their nose.
A vaccination administered through the nasal passages would prevent the spread of the disease. As a result, youngsters will be able to return to school less concerned about transmitting the illness to their classmates, teachers, or at-home vulnerable family members.
Intranasal vaccinations have shown promise in animal tests, and scientists attempt to perfect formulations that work for humans. One 2022 review article found that studies examining the safety and efficacy of oral and nasal vaccinations against SARS-CoV2 showed promise, suggesting that they could one day replace the injectable COVID-19 vaccines currently in use.
Meissa, a biotech business, has had greater success with an intranasal vaccination they are developing. More research is needed before clearance is possible, but early results from a Phase 1 study in 2021 revealed that its Vaccine elicited a robust immunological response in human participants.
An Oral Vaccine
One firm testing an oral COVID-19 vaccination is iosBio (previously Stabilitech) of the United Kingdom. The company says that this mode of delivery also presents the same benefits of intranasal vaccines, such as mucosal immunity and systemic immunity, thermostability, and community acceptance.
For adults, it may be preferable to pop a pill rather than stick themselves with a needle. However, it should be noted that adults with preexisting concerns concerning gut disorders or absorption issues may not be good candidates for this. Furthermore, most children would have trouble swallowing a capsule, and smaller children would be particularly at risk.
Tips for Getting Kids to Take Their Vaccines
Vaccines against COVID-19 are currently and for the foreseeable future only offered via injection. Expert child health nurse Vanessa Anderson offers advice on how to ease the immunization process for children.
- Tell your kid the truth. Tell them they can expect some discomfort, but it will pass quickly.
- Explain the value of immunization in the days leading up to the visit. This is helpful for older kids who can observe the effects of COVID-19 for themselves. Don’t forget to use age-appropriate language while explaining it to your kid.
- Make yourself available for cuddles and reassurance, and let your child bring a comfort item like a blanket or toy.
- If your child needs an injection (or nasal Vaccine), you should be ready to hold them on your lap while the doctor administers the shot.
- Plan a special activity to reward your youngster to look forward to afterward.
- If you can, try to see a pediatrician or nurse who knows how to deal with children.