Developed through a collaboration between the University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University, and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy, the spray vaccine in question stimulates the natural infection pathway of the novel coronavirus to trigger an immune response. It is based on a live attenuated influenza vaccine and could also be modified with weakened influenza viruses to offer dual immunity – against both COVID-19 and influenza.
More importantly, as the system is based on the mature influenza vaccine technology, scientists believe it could be easily mass-manufactured and distributed. The nasal spray-based system will be much easier to administer on the masses as compared to the traditional injection-based vaccines. To note, nasal spray vaccines have been around for some time but this is the only one for COVID-19 in clinical trials.
The clinical trials for the spray vaccine are set to begin in November with 100 volunteers and will continue for at least a year. The studies will take place in three phases, aimed at defining the safety and effectiveness of the spray. During the trials, the researchers would also have to check how long the immunity from the spray lasts and whether it is better than injection-based vaccines.