In the current global vaccine race, Scientists from the UK are keen to assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines inhaled rather than injected. The claim is that inhalation of the vaccine will provide a better immune response against the virus since COVID-19 primarily targets the lungs.
Scientists from the UK claim that injecting doses directly into the pulmonary system may provide a better immune response. According to them, rather than administering the vaccines via needle, it should be delivered through the nasal pathway for a better combat against COVID-19.
A research team from the Imperial College London will utilize the two current frontrunners in development in the UK. However, the Oxford vaccine due to issues while the Imperial one commenced its human trials in June. As of now, there are at least 180 vaccine candidates being developed worldwide. Nations like USA, UK, China, Russia, India, Japan,etc. are vying against each other in the vaccine race. However, none of the 180 candidates have completed their goal of successfully developing a robust vaccine against COVID-19.
According to the criteria, around 30 healthy volunteers will be administered the vaccine in the form of a mist or aerosol. This mechanism works in the exact same manner as asthma drugs. Asthma drugs are given via a nebuliser attached to a mask or mouthpiece. The seasonal flu shots can also be given through means of a nasal spray rather than an injection.
Lead Researchers speak about the vaccine.
Dr. Chris Chiu, the Lead researcher of the project said, “The current pandemic is caused by a respiratory virus which primarily infects people through the cells lining the nose, throat and lungs. These surfaces are specialized and produce a different immune response to the rest of the body. So it is critical, we explore whether targeting the airways directly can provide an effective response compared to a vaccine injected into muscle.”He concluded.
Meanwhile Professor Robin Shattock the Lead researcher on the Imperial vaccine, said, “A number of groups around the world are currently working on clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccines. And these will tell us whether these candidates can produce a systemic immune response against the virus. However, these trials are unlikely to tell us anything about the localised response in the nose, throat and airways – where the virus primarily attacks and invades cells. It may well be that one group has the right vaccine but the wrong delivery method. And only trials such as this will be able to tell us that.” (Source: BBC)