The World Health Organization says clinical trials are underway to evaluate eight nasal spray vaccines that target COVID-19.
“When the virus infects someone it usually gets in through the nose,” said researcher Nathalie Mielcarek who is working with the Lille Pasteur Institute to develop a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough.
An article published in Scientific American in March urged developing nasal spray vaccines because they have an immediate effect on the virus in an infected person’s mucus.
“This overwhelming response, called sterilizing immunity, reduces the chance that people will pass on the virus,” said the article.
The vaccines currently available offer strong protection against severe forms of COVID-19 but are less reliable at preventing the spread of the virus.
An article published in March by Gavi the Vaccine Alliance noted other advantages, including the fact that the sprays don’t need refrigeration and don’t need to be administered by health professionals.
And in a French study on mice presented last week, 100% of subjects vaccinated with the spray survived infection by COVID-19 while all unvaccinated mice died.
“The vaccinated animals … showed low levels of the virus so they are not contagious anymore â€” that’s one of the advantages of the nasal spray,” Philippe Mauguin, CEO of the French institute that hopes to patent the vaccine said.
Vaccine nasal sprays aim to 'shut door' on virus
Episode 99: With half of Japan vaccinated, what's next for the vaccine rollout