The world's first aerosolized inhaled adenovirus type-5 vector-based COVID-19 vaccine (Ad5-nCoV) is on display at CanSino Biologics (CanSinoBIO) booth during the 5th Hainan International Health Industry Expo at Hainan International Convention and Exhibition Center on November 12, 2021 in Haikou, Hainan Province of China. Photo Credit: VCG/Getty Images

Health China16. September 2022

Needle-Free Vaccines? These Countries Pave the Way

Two Asian countries recently approved not one, but two needle-free Covid-19 vaccines.

“The advantage with nasal vaccines is that it may get rid of the virus before it has a chance to establish itself in the lungs and replicate,” explains Vineeta Bal, an immunologist at the Indian Institute of Science Education Research.

China greenlighted an inhalable aerosol mist developed by CanSino Biologics to be used as a booster dose, whereas India approved a two-dose vaccine delivered via nasal drops and designed by developer Bharat Biotech.

The two vaccines are considered to be mucosal vaccines, which target mucous membranes in the mouth, nose, and lungs. Theoretically, mucosal vaccines could better protect against Covid-19 as it is able to fight off the virus when it is inhaled. Indeed, mucosal vaccines have already been approved for poliovirus, influenza, and cholera. Should it be given the proper funding and priority, mucosal vaccines could help in the fight against Covid-19 worldwide.

Smithsonian Magazine

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