China has given approval to start Phase 1 clinical trials on nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine. The trials are expected to begin in November. The vaccine will be tried on 100 volunteers in the first phase. This is the first nasal spray vaccine that has been approved by China's National Medical Products Administration.
The vaccine is being developed by Hong Kong and the Chinese researchers. Researchers from the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy are involved in this project.
Nasal Vaccine to Take One Year for Three Trials
The nasal vaccine is expected to protect victims against influenza and novel coronavirus. It is being developed with a hope that it will also contain influenza viruses including H1N1, H3N2 and B. The three clinical trials will take at least one year, said Yuen Kwok Yung, Microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong, speaking to PTI.
China is also concentrating on developing four other types of vaccines including inactivated vaccines, adenoviral vector-based vaccines, and DNA and mRNA vaccines. Reports claim that the inactivated vaccines will be the first one to hit the market. Inactivated vaccines are made from killed version of the germs that cause the disease. It does not provide immunity as strong as live vaccines. Thus the patient may need several doses over time to get the needed immunity. Currently this vaccine is used against Hepatitis A, flu, polio and rabies.
Nasal Vaccine VS Injection
Though nasal vaccine is easier to administer, experts are not sure of the effectiveness of it when compared to injected vaccine. Its main advantage is that it can be manufactured in a mass scale and distribution is also easier than injections.
Prominent side-effects of nasal spray is said to be asthma and shortness of breath. A group of researchers from New York's Cornell University, an Ivy League private research institute had earlier said that the nasal vaccine is likely to be more effective than injection shots in treating SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus patients. The researchers also said that nasal vaccine can develop immune response in different parts of the body, and that it is capable of working faster than injections.
The logic behind this conclusion is that COVID-19 finds its way inside the patient through lungs. Researchers claimed that lungs are the first in the line of coronavirus infection, which later spreads throughout the body. The Cornell University researchers had claimed that the vaccine ingested nasally can build immunity rapidly, in a shorter time compared to injection shots.