World’s first nasal COVID vaccine in Phase 3 testing in China

covid vaccine
Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Intranasal spray has previously been developed as a vaccine for the flu and is recommended for use among children and adults who want to avoid the more common needle injection. While it is not the most frequent choice for delivery, scientists around the world are working to develop sprays as an alternative to muscle jabs for all sorts of vaccines.

[A recently approved COVID-19] intranasal vaccine is the 10th candidate from China to proceed to the crucial stage of human testing. The country is building its lead in vaccine development after western front-runner AstraZeneca Plc had to pause its late-stage human trial to investigate a spinal cord illness in a person who received its experimental shot.

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Some scientists hope a vaccine that gets sprayed through the nose may have a better chance of stopping the spread of the insidious virus through respiratory tracts. A needle injection can arouse a systematic immune response to prevent severe illness, but may not be strong enough to ward off infection.

Preclinical studies have shown the nasal vaccine can significantly reduce lung damage among mice and hamsters when challenged with the coronavirus, Science and Technology Daily reported.

The nasal spray joins about 35 other candidates currently in human testing, as the global race to be first with an effective vaccine against the deadly pathogen intensifies.

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