May 9, 2022 — Scientists are working on a COVID vaccine delivered via a nasal spray that could stop the coronavirus from entering the body at its most common entry points, the mucous membranes of the nose and throat.
More than a dozen clinical trials of nasal sprays are underway, protector report.
usa today Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil and Mexico have already started production of nasal vaccines in anticipation of success in clinical trials.
Nasal vaccines may be used as boosters in the United States, but may be widely available in less developed parts of the world where injectable vaccines are not common, usa today report.
While injectable vaccines help the body ward off serious illness, nasal vaccines can stop the virus from entering the body in the first place. The effectiveness of injectable vaccines wanes over time, and COVID variants can evade vaccines, as evidenced by the large number of Omicron cases.
“If you think of your body as a castle, the intramuscular vaccine really protects the inner areas of your castle, so once an intruder gets in, that immunity prevents them from taking the throne,” Sean Liu, Covid Clinical Medical Director The lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City told protector.
“But if you train your immune system to work at the castle gate, not only is it difficult for intruders to get in, but they may have a hard time spreading inside.”
The nasal vaccine can be more easily manufactured and distributed because it is stored in a regular refrigerator, rather than the ultra-cold temperatures like Moderna and Pfizer’s mRNA vaccines. People who don’t like needles may get a nasal vaccine.
And it will be much cheaper to produce, usa today said. A dose of nasal vaccine costs about 30 cents to produce, compared with $30 for Moderna or Pfizer, said Peter Palliser, who also studies nasal vaccines at the Icahn School of Medicine.
Scientists face many challenges in their research, especially measuring the strength of the immune response to nasal vaccines.
Nasal sprays are being developed using different technologies. At the Icahn School of Medicine, they’re making vaccines out of eggs, just like flu shots. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio is trying canine flu, usa today said. The nasal version of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is based on a weakened adenovirus, protector report.
In January 2021, researchers from Lancaster University in England and the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio reported that two doses of the nasal vaccine in rodents produced sufficient antibody and T-cell responses to suppress SARS-CoV-2.