Nasal vaccines and the future life with COVID-19, what it would be like? The pandemic situation continues spreading and it seems that it won’t be over soon. Since the first wave from 2019th – scientists; universities; hospitals, etc. – haven’t stopped for a second to look for solutions. Nowadays experts develop and approved several types of intramuscular vaccines. People are taking them all over the world.
Luckily for them – several companies are working on nasal vaccines. But that makes us question ourselves – are nasal vaccines the future in the fight with Covid-19?
Some studies conducted on small animals, mostly rodents and mice, using nasal spray vaccine, do show promising results. The research employing these alternative routes for COVID-19 vaccination is still at the nascent stage. According to data released by the WHO (World Health Organization) on May 5th, 2021, clinical trials are underway for eight intranasal vaccines in the US, UK, China, India, Iran, and Cuba.
So how would a nasal spray vaccine work? Well, it is going to be delivered through the nasal route via a nasal spray, directly in the nose. So far three vaccines contain the replication-deficient Adenovirus that contains genes of some of the SARS-COV-2 antigens. These are synthetic particles that have viral agents on them.
The reason is that the virus is naturally transmitted through the airways. Indeed, nasal administration seems to provoke a wider immune response than intramuscular administration.
Of course, the shots are working, but as you can see the advantage of intranasal vaccines is that they create a powerful immune reaction at the site of virus entry – the nose. This helps in building a shield against the virus and delivery.
If the virus can be stopped from entering at this point, it won’t be able to get into the lungs and damage them. If an effective mucosal immune defense is generated, it would possibly prevent the Covid infection from the outset and more effectively reduce transmission of the virus.
None of the nasal vaccines is on the market, but most of them are showing promising results in vivo and in vitro trials. Unfortunately not each vaccine can continue further to Phase II or Phase III clinical trials. Experts are saying that the studies will approach complement in 2022. Until then we can only hope that all other protection methods will give results and wait until the Covid-19 nightmare is over.
Author: Donka Staykova