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China Starts Testing Covid-19 Nasal Spray Vaccine

China Begins Testing COVID-19 Nasal Spray Vaccine

BEIJING – The newest COVID-19 vaccine candidate to begin human testing is the first where volunteers will not receive a painful injection. Instead, they will get a spray through their nose.
China on Wednesday approved phase I human testing for the nasal spray vaccine, which is co-developed by researchers at Xiamen University and the University of Hong Kong, as well as vaccine maker Beijing, Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co.
The intranasal spray has already been developed as an influenza vaccine, and its use is recommended in children and adults who wish to avoid the more common needle injection. While not the most common choice for delivery, scientists around the world are working to develop sprays as an alternative to muscle injections for all kinds of vaccines.
The intranasal vaccine is the 10th Chinese candidate to take the crucial step in human testing. The country is strengthening its lead in vaccine development after Western leader AstraZeneca Plc had to suspend its advanced human trial to investigate a spinal cord disease in a person who had received their experimental vaccine.
The intranasal spray contains a weakened influenza virus that carries the genetic segments of the coronavirus spike protein, administered through the nasal passages; it mimics the natural infection of respiratory viruses to stimulate the body’s immune response against the pathogen responsible for COVID-19, according to Science and Technology Daily, a journal affiliated with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
Some scientists hope that a vaccine sprayed through the nose will have a better chance of stopping the spread of the insidious virus through the respiratory tract.
A needle injection may elicit a systematic immune response to prevent serious illness, but may not be strong enough to ward off infection.
Preclinical studies have shown that the nasal vaccine can significantly reduce lung damage in mice and hamsters when confronted with the coronavirus, the Science and Technology Daily reported.
The nasal spray joins around 35 other candidates currently in human testing, as the global race to be the first with an effective vaccine against the deadly pathogen intensifies.
In the wake of AstraZeneca’s setback, China’s most advanced vaccine developers, including CanSino Biologics Inc. and state-owned China National Biotec Group Co., have focused on the safety of their vaccines.
CNBG said the two injections she was testing were effective in preventing infection.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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