The relentless evolution of the COVID-causing coronavirus has taken a bit of the shine off the vaccines developed during the first year of the pandemic. Versions of the virus that now dominate circulation—Omicron and its subvariants—are more transmissible and adept at evading the body’s immune defenses than its original form. The current shots to the arm can still prevent serious illness, but their ability to ward off infection completely has been diminished. And part of the reason may be the location of the jabs, which some scientists now want to change.
To block infections entirely, scientists want to deliver inoculations to the site where the virus first makes contact: the nose.…
With the virus rampant despite jabs, trials are underway to create intranasal vaccines to block infections from the body.
Scientists ditch plans to develop nasal spray version of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in its current form.
CanSino’s formulation contains pieces of COVID-19’s genetic material so the body can recognize the virus, similar to how the vaccines in the United States work. However, this vaccine uses a benign version of the common cold virus to carry information about the virus, instead of introducing the material directly like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines do.
Mucosal vaccines are designed to target this “mucosal immune system”. The mucosal immune system has the potential to stop the virus in its tracks when it enters the body, so scientists predict that mucosal vaccines could prevent infection.
Unlike jabs, nasal vaccines target the respiratory tract, the body’s first line of defence against infection
The currently available Covid-19 vaccines are injected into people’s arm muscles and are highly capable at combating the virus once people are infected. But they are not as successful at preventing people from getting infected to begin with. To do that, you ideally want to stop a virus from spreading right at the site where people get infected: the nasal cavity.
Next-generation nasal or oral vaccines could quickly boost the immune response in the very airways where COVID-19 enters the body and ultimately break our reliance on the constant development of reformulated shots to target new variants of concern.
Mucosal vaccines offer the significant benefit of triggering immune responses at the principal sites of infection, offering scope for sterilizing immunity achieved by local secretory antibody responses and resident populations of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells.
New vaccines are far less studied than existing Covid-19 shots, as regulators in China and India are first to give the green light
COVID-19 intranasal (IN) vaccines are also being developed that have shown promising ability to induce a significant amount of antibody-mediated immune response and a robust cell-mediated immunity as well as hold the added ability to stimulate protective mucosal immunity along with the additional advantage of the ease of administration as compared to IM injected vaccines.
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Scientists hope nasal vaccines, similar to those used for seasonal flu, could overcome this shortcoming and help weaken the chain of transmission and reduce the continued impact of Covid.
Vaccines inhaled through the mouth or nose might stop the coronavirus in its tracks, although there’s little evidence from human trials so far.
Unfortunately, only a small fraction of the previously unvaccinated participants showed substantial induction of mucosal immunoglobulin A (IgA) or IgG directed against spike protein after the first nasal vaccination, irrespective of the dose.
Almost all Covid infections begin with nasal exposure. We now know that such exposure does not offer long-lasting protection from re-infection, much less protection from new variants as they arise. If natural intranasal exposure does not give the protection we hope for, why should a vaccine administered via the same route do so?
Nasal vaccines under development around the world may make better boosters by stopping the coronavirus in the airways.
If we want to prevent mild Covid infections, we’re going to need vaccines that protect us where infections start: in the mucus membranes of the nose, mouth, and throat. And for that, we’re likely going to need intranasal vaccines.
A number of research groups and companies are working on Covid-19 vaccines that would be delivered intranasally, but the development process is tricky.
Promising results from a study at Yale University are still undergoing peer-review — but offer hope for managing Covid-19 in the future.
Some experts say a vaccine puffed in the nose would be better at protecting people from infection. But nasal vaccines won’t be ready right away.
To block infections entirely, scientists want to deliver inoculations to the site where the virus first makes contact: the nose. People could simply spray the vaccines up their nostrils at home, making the preparation much easier to administer.