The researchers are expected to carry out the trial on 180 health workers
Swedish researchers are gearing up to seek permission from Bangladeshi authorities to hold clinical trials of a nasal Covid-19 vaccine in the country.
According to Bangladeshi experts associated with the trial, the vaccine, developed by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute yielded good results in animal trials.
Sweden’s ISR Immune System Regulation Holding AB is set to submit the application for a clearance to hold the trial to Bangladesh Medical Research Council sometime next week, media reports say.
The ISR has already assigned Bangladesh Clinical Trials Ltd as its contract research organization.
The two organisations have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard.
The ISR has also signed a deal with a Bangladeshi firm UniMed UniHealth Pharmaceuticals Ltd in July for local production of the vaccines.
Mugda Medical College Principal Dr Ahmedul Kabir and former Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University medicine faculty dean Dr ABM Abdullah are currently working on clinical trial protocols and will be principal investigators if the trial gets the government nod, according to media reports.
Kabir said on Saturday that a successful trial would reduce the current dependency on syringes for administration and reduce the hassle of transportation and preservation.
Describing the technology as “completely green,” he said that no one would need to visit vaccination centres if this works.
According to him, Bangladesh will be a priority in vaccine distribution if the trial is approved as it would give the country the opportunity for local production.
The trials are expected to be carried out on 180 health workers of Mugda Medical College Hospital.
Coronavirus vaccines are currently administered into the bloodstream but concern over their effectiveness grows amid the growing number of variants.
The idea behind the nasal vaccine is similar to that of intranasal vaccines which prime the nasal tract.
The vaccine is supposed to prime the mucosal tissues of the intestinal tract and researchers say that it’s not an entirely new technology given that oral vaccines for polio and cholera already exist.
In a July 21 article, Karolinska Institute Immunologist and T cell researcher Marcus Buggert said that when the infections take place in the mucosal surfaces of the nasal cavity and the T cells and the immune system is primed.
It means that the T cells will remain in the upper respiratory tract and act as a defence barrier, a response that can’t be generated when the vaccines are administered in the arms, she said.