COVID-19 vaccines have always been seen with disdain and unnecessary cynicism. While the solution to the SARS-CoV-2 viral infection’s treatment was usually straightforward, involving the use of oxygen concentrators, oxygen tanks, and other medicines, they were still not preventive. Many pulse oximeters were sold during this time period.
Many researchers have been studying the virus ever since the pandemic started. At present times, we have several vaccines that can be injected into the human body for developing immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
How do the COVID-19 Vaccines Work?
3 main types of vaccines are currently available against the novel coronavirus. Because numerous patents for all 4 types of vaccines are in the works, let’s have a look at how the different vaccines act against SARS-CoV-2.
Whole Virus-Based Vaccines:
These vaccines use whole dead viruses to trigger the body into creating antibodies against the virus. In these vaccines, the virus is either in an extremely weakened state so that it cannot cause active illness or the virus has no genetic material that will allow it to replicate inside the body. Either way, the result is a growth of immune reaction against the virus. According to CDC, currently, there is no such vaccine on the market. If it were, we would see extreme reactions at the start, there would be a definite increase in sales of oxygen devices.
Protein Subunit Vaccines:
This is a very subtle type of vaccine that utilizes some proteins from the virus to evoke an antibody response. However, the response is not good enough to provide a long-time immunity and so the host requires multiple boosters to keep the immune reaction alive. You can find this work in the Novavax vaccine. Patients who received these vaccines have had repeat infections and found themselves receiving oxygen via portable oxygen concentrators at home.
The mRNA vaccines work by relying on the ability of the human cells to produce the antigen-type material that will invoke an immune reaction. Once the human cells produce the mRNA-ordered material, the T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes will work up an antibody reaction against it and remember the makeup of the antigen. Any type the antigen surfaces in the body, the memory cells will initiate a reaction. This technique is in use in Pfizer- BioNTech or Moderna.
Moderna was one of the first vaccines that became acceptable globally. A high number of the populace got vaccinated and this helped reduce the burden on hospitals. To this day, ill-informed patients who avoided vaccination are found in hospitals getting their oxygen levels restored via oxygen generators.
Viral Vector Vaccines:
This method utilizes a weak virus to carry the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The weaker virus introduces the genetic material inside the body of the host and that triggers an immune reaction where antibodies are inevitably created and the lymphocytes learn to have the same immune reaction against the particular virus type. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine uses this method in their vaccine.
What is the Response to these Vaccines?
All of the mentioned vaccines trigger the lymphocytes into making IgG which is then found circulating the body. The immunity is thus confined to the blood and takes time in reaching into the mucosal membranes.
We saw patients receiving treatment for fever and breathlessness in the post-vaccination period. Oxygen concentrator devices were thankfully able to meet the patient’s needs in this time period and they continue to do so till now.
Luckily, the mucosal membranes have their immunity to protect against the attacking microbes. The secretory IgA or SIgA is the main defense of the body against pathogens that attack via mucosal surfaces.
How’s the New COVID-19 Vaccine Different?
The new vaccine to fight COVID-19 will be administered via nasal spray. Yes, you read that right!
The nasal mucosa is the first to be infected when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, the virus is inhaled and from that point, it gains access to the human host. The virus reaches into the air passages and later the virus reaches the lungs and induces tragic symptoms.
Now, as we talked about before, the new nasal vaccine would act on the mucosal lining of the human host. The study on mice revealed that the mucosal lining shows a proliferation of SIgA following the vaccination from the nasal vaccine.
How will the New Nasal Vaccine Work?
The new vaccine works by the function of the mRNA protein that will trigger the formation of material that causes an immediate immune response from the lymphocytes. The B lymphocytes differentiate into plasma cells and memory cells that help the body remember the immune response to a particular antigen. On exposure to an antigen later on, the immune reaction will be immediate. The T lymphocytes will support the memory cells by producing appropriate antibodies.
With repeated exposures to the virus, the body will become faster in its response to the infecting microbe. The immunity will develop for a longer time and would not need to be boosted again and again.
Hence the virus will not be able to reach the lungs to induce respiratory symptoms easily and the hospital load for oxygen devices will decline.
What does this New Vaccine Hope to Achieve?
There is a whole process through which the SARS-CoV-2 acts. The host for this infection needs exposure to the virus through their nasal mucosa, oral mucosa, or through eyes. Once the virus reaches the mucosal membranes, it can replicate and then spread to the whole respiratory system of the host body.
With this nasal vaccine, the researchers aim to stop the infection at the grassroots level. The virus simply won’t get a chance to replicate in the nasal mucosa. Hence the infection will be stopped before it even begins in the first place.
What’s the Future of SARS-CoV-2?
The population that will get COVID-19, can get their treatment pretty easily now that there is more research about the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The doctors keep the patients hydrated, sometimes they prescribe antiviral and fever medications. On the end, patients get access to their oxygen concentrator devices in order to breathe easily.
On the other hand, the vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 are constantly getting better. Sanai Health recognizes the spirit and needs for evolution in respiratory medicine. The nasal vaccine is bound to open up even more avenues in the future. For now, the idea of this vaccine and what excellent results it will give grants us hope.