UK Researchers To Test Effectiveness of Inhaled Vaccines

Vaccines administered through inhalation require lower doses than those delivered by injection. 

Published
Treatment & Vaccine
2 min read
Researchers in Britain are planning to examine whether inhaled coronavirus vaccines work better than if they were injected.
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Researchers in Britain are planning to examine whether inhaled coronavirus vaccines work better than if they were injected.

According to an AP report, the study will compare how two experimental coronavirus vaccines work when they are inhaled as opposed to being injected. Researchers from Imperial College, London and Oxford University shared that the trial would involve 30 participants. The test vaccines developed by the two institutions will be administered to the participants, who will inhale the droplets through their mouths.

“We have evidence that delivering influenza vaccines via a nasal spray can protect people against flu as well as help to reduce the transmission of the disease.”
Dr. Chris Chiu, Lead Scientist of the Research

The same may be expected for COVID-19. "It is critical we explore whether targeting the airways directly can provide an effective response compared to a vaccine injected into muscle," Chiu added.

Vaccines administered through inhalation require smaller doses than those delivered by injection. This will allow limited supplies of vaccine to be used more effectively.

"It may well be that one group has the right vaccine but the wrong delivery method, and only trials such as this will be able to tell us that," said Robin Shattock, who is leading the development of Imperial's vaccine.

The Imperial vaccine employs synthetic strands of viral genetic code, which once injected into the muscle, instruct the body's cells to manufacture copies of a spiky protein found on the coronavirus. This is expected to induce an immune reaction, that will protect the body against any future infection if exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

On the other hand, Oxford's vaccine employs a chimpanzee cold virus engineered to carry the coronavirus' spike protein into the body. The virus is engineered in a way that it cannot spread, and is expected to trigger an immune response when it enters the host’s body.

The researchers are currently recruiting participants aged 18 to 55 for the study, which is set to begin in London in the coming weeks.

(With inputs from The Economic Times)

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