High Hopes for Nasal COVID Vaccines Despite ‘Disappointing’ AstraZeneca Trial

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  • Unlike AstraZeneca, successful nasal vaccines used for other diseases such as polio, rotavirus and influenza are all live vaccines, which means they replicate inside the nose, Bamford said, potentially pointing a way forwards for researchers.
  • Russia and Iran have also approved nasal vaccines.
  • So how long could it take for such a nasal vaccine to be made available to the public?

Despite “disappointing” recent trial results for an AstraZeneca spray, researchers suggest nasal vaccinations could still be a potent future weapon in the fight against Covid-19 as reported by News18.

A huge boost

By entering the body the same way as the virus, nasal vaccines aim to build immunity in the mucous membrane that lines the nose and mouth.

This could block people from getting infected in the first place — and also potentially hamper those who have Covid from spreading it further.

That would represent a huge boost compared to traditional shots in the arm, which have proved very effective at preventing severe Covid but perform far less well when it comes to stopping transmission.

Last month China became the first country to approve a needle-free Covid vaccine, an aerosolised mist inhaled through the nose and mouth using a nebuliser device, while India greenlit a homegrown nasal drop vaccine days later.

However, the vaccine promoted mucosal antibodies only in a minority of the participants, and the immune responses were weaker compared to those from traditional vaccines, according to a study published in the journal eBioMedicine.

Don’t be ‘too downhearted’

“The nasal spray did not perform as well in this study as we had hoped,” said the trial’s chief investigator, Sandy Douglas of Oxford University.

He said that working out exactly why the nasal spray fell short could help researchers discover how to make a future version more effective.

Unlike AstraZeneca, successful nasal vaccines used for other diseases such as polio, rotavirus and influenza are all live vaccines, which means they replicate inside the nose, Bamford said, potentially pointing a way forwards for researchers.

Eric Tartour, an immunologist at the European Hospital Georges Pompidou in Paris, said that while the AstraZeneca results “are indeed disappointing”, he did not think the news “dampens hope for nasal vaccines”.

Around 100 different intranasal Covid vaccines are under development worldwide, according to analysis by health data firm Airfinity and Nature last month, with some 20 being tested on humans.

Russia and Iran have also approved nasal vaccines.

‘Wake up and lead’

For example, in 2020 France’s Pasteur Institute and biotech firm TheraVectys developed a nasal vaccine candidate that was found to block transmission and produce antibodies for different variants in tests on animals, according to chief scientific officer Pierre Charneau.

So how long could it take for such a nasal vaccine to be made available to the public?

“Reducing transmission is the best way to gain control over the virus,” Moore said. 

“The upside to our health and economies is enormous.

Western countries need to wake up and lead.”

 

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Source: News18

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