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.