China Approves Trials For First COVID-19 Nasal Spray Vaccine

A nasal spray vaccine for the novel coronavirus has received approval for trials by China.

Treatment & Vaccine
2 min read
Many vaccines for the novel coronavirus are in various stages of trial worldwide.

A nasal spray vaccine for the novel coronavirus has received approval for trials by China. The first of its kind to receive approval from China's National Medical Products Administration, this vaccine is expected to begin Phase I clinical trials in November with 100 volunteers, according to an NDTV report.

The vaccine is being jointly developed by China and Hong Kong, involving a collaborative effort from scientists belonging to the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University, and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy.

The nasal spray vaccination could generate twofold protection for vaccine recipients - against both influenza and the novel coronavirus, if it also contains influenza viruses including H1N1, H3N2 and B, Yuen Kwok-yung, a microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong, stated, adding that it would take at least another year to finish the three phases of clinical trials.

How Does The Vaccine Work?

The nasal spray vaccine stimulates the natural infection pathway of respiratory viruses to activate the immune response, explained Yuen.

The vaccine employs a live attenuated influenza vaccine. The other four kinds of coronavirus vaccines being developed by China are inactivated vaccines, adenoviral vector-based vaccines, DNA and mRNA vaccines. Of these, the inactivated vaccine is expected be released earliest in the market.

A Beijing-based immunologist suggested that unlike injections, a nasal spray vaccination is easier to administer. Mass production and distribution for such a vaccine would also be much easier, as it adopts the mature influenza vaccine production technology.

The immunologist also indicated that the potential vaccine may not trigger systemic side effects, but side effects such as asthma and shortness of breath may occur in the respiratory system. Ideally, no side effects besides minor nasal obstruction or rhinorrhea are expected, added Yuen Kwok-yung.

However, it is not yet known how long the immunity stimulated by the nasal spray vaccination is expected to last.

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