Pharmaceutical companies develop nasal spray vaccines to soon defeat COVID-19

Could delivering immunity to the SARS-CoV-2 virus directly to the nose - the most susceptible area - could help defeat the COVID-19 pandemic early?

A researcher in the laboratory developing a nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Tours, France. Photo: Reuters
A researcher in the laboratory developing a nasal spray COVID-19 vaccine at the University of Tours, France. Photo: Reuters

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that clinical trials are underway to evaluate eight nasal spray vaccines against COVID-19. Some of the most prominent candidates in the current spray vaccine race including Xiamen University, University of Hong Kong and Wantai Beijing Biopharmaceutical have completed phase 2 trials.

"When the virus infects people, it usually enters through the nose," said researcher Nathalie Mielcarek, who is working with the Pasteur Lille Institute to develop a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough. The goal of producing a spray vaccine is to prevent the virus from invading."

A study published in Scientific American in March encouraged the development of nasal spray vaccines because they have an immediate effect on viruses in the mucus of an infected person.

There, they trigger the production of an antibody called immunoglobulin A, which helps prevent infection. "This overwhelming response, known as sterilization immunity, reduces the chances of transmitting the virus to humans," the paper said.

Existing vaccines offer strong protection against severe symptoms of COVID-19 but are less reliable at stopping the spread of the virus.

According to expert Mielcarek, stimulating an immune response directly in the nose will reduce the risk of transmission to others. Also, when you have less virus infecting your lungs, having a lower viral load is less likely to get worse.

On the other hand, the study said that the nasal spray vaccine would be easy to use at home and would not cause fear of needles.

And in a study by the University of Tours (France) on mice just published last week, 100% of the vaccinated mice survived infection with SARS-CoV-2, while those that did not receive the vaccine all died. .

"The vaccinated animals have a low viral load so they don't get infected," said Philippe Mauguin, CEO of the research institute in France hoping to patent a vaccine. That's one of the advantages of the nasal spray vaccine."

Isabelle Dimier-Poisson, who led the feasibility study, said: “The nasal spray vaccine can bring us back to the normal life before the pandemic, without social distancing and without wearing it. gauze mask".

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