Officials from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi are working on a Covid vaccine that will reduce the risk of blood clotting.

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Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi are working on a new vaccine for COVID-19 that could reduce the risk of blood clotting, which has been seen in some people after being vaccinated with approved vaccines, officials announced on Thursday. They noted that this “next-generation” vaccine is currently being tested on animals.

Jayanta Bhattacharyya, a professor at the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, IIT Delhi, commented that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists across the globe have been researching the virus and its epidemiology to formulate successful vaccines. He added that a vaccine that minimizes the risks of instability of materials, inadequate immune response, and potential side effects like blood clots, as well as provides a lasting immunity to the virus, would be more effective in shielding individuals from the perilous COVID-19.

The Union Health Ministry recently denied reports of the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation acknowledging ‘side effects’ from the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines, which are widely used in India. In contrast to the current vaccines, Bhattacharyya highlighted that the IIT Delhi researchers developed a nano-vaccine utilizing the body’s own immune cells.

The researchers have developed a nanovaccine made from natural ingredients which could potentially have more benefits than the current vaccinations available. It could reduce the risk of blood clotting that has been observed in vaccinated people. Normally, when a person is vaccinated, the antigens are processed by the antigen-presenting cells which then activate other immune cells (B and T cells) to create antibodies and fight off the virus.

The professor said the new vaccine was a step forward as it utilizes nanovesicles sourced from APCs that have processed antigens on their surface as well as other components to activate B and T cells. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Regional Centre for Biotechnology in Faridabad, was published in the ACS Biomaterials Science and Engineering and was titled “SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein-Activated Dendritic Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Induce Antiviral Immunity in Mice”.

Researchers tested the immune response of this vaccine in mice, and the results indicated that it produced antibodies against the COVID-19 virus and was more potent than the free antigen. Remarkably, when the mice were administered with a dose that was 10 times lower than the free antigen, the nano-vaccine was still as effective in stimulating antiviral immunity. Additionally, this vaccine was able to generate durable immunity, including the creation of memory cells which could protect against future infections. According to the professor, this approach could be used for numerous other infectious diseases, such as dengue.

Mayank Tewari

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