It may be the vaccine of the future, a nasal spray that would entirely prevent COVID-19 infections by delivering a boost of immunity right where the virus enters.
Stanford experts say it could take years as researchers there continue working on a nasal spray that would block infections.
“You could have at the site of infection at your nos,e at your mouth. You have these antibodies that are just there and waiting, and ready to go as soon as you breath in this virus,” said Dr. Michal Talm, Principal Scientist at MIT and Stanford University Immunologist.
They added it may put an end to this merry-go-round many have been riding the past two years, which seems to speed up every time a new variant pops up.
Our current vaccines give us strong protection from ending up in the hospital or dying from COVID-19. But not necessarily from catching it.
Tal said that a spray could be the game-changer the world is waiting for.
“There’s been some really great research now using animal models where we see that if we give the spike protein from coronavirus as a spray into the nose, that provides really really strong protection from infections,” she said.
Some of that research is being done right here at Stanford with mice.
They’re trying to develop a long-lasting intranasal vaccine you could administer yourself. But scientists said they are still on phase one of their research. It likely will take another year or two before they can start any human trials.
“There’s no operation warp speed. There’s no big money to expedite this research,” Tal said.
Tal said it may be possible to speed up the process, if the government decides to invest in the nasal spray, the way it did with the first round of vaccines.
China and India, for example, are already on phase three.
“Until we get these vaccines we are just at the mercy of variant after variant,” Tal said.
Experts said that even a successful nasal vaccine probably wouldn’t be our last protection from COVID. That’s because of waning immunity and variants. So, it would likely be repeated just like any other booster shot.
Source: NBC Bay Area