The first needle-free COVID-19 vaccine may provide strong immune protection against the infection, vaccine maker CanSino said in a press release.
Authorities in China have approved a COVID-19 vaccine mist for use as a booster dose, making it the first alternative to injectable vaccines used during the pandemic.
The inhaled vaccine contains the same ingredients as the shots used in China, but a nebulizer turns it from a liquid into an aerosol spray.
The first needle-free COVID vaccine has been approved in China
Similar to the COVID-19 vaccines used in the US, CanSino’s first needle-free COVID vaccine contains pieces of genetic material so the body can recognize the virus.
While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines introduce this material directly, the CanSino vaccine uses a harmless version of the common cold virus to carry information about the coronavirus.
According to data reported by the World Health Organization, a single dose of CanSino is about 92% effective in preventing severe illness from COVID-19 and about 58% effective in completely preventing the disease.
Clinical trials with the booster mist (after a single injected dose of the vaccine) have shown it to be as effective as the two-dose vaccine, which is widely used in Asia and other parts of the world.
Alternative to injectable vaccines
The nasal mist can increase protection in the lining of the nose and upper respiratory tract, where the virus usually enters the body, according to the press release cited by Science Alert.
And other vaccines have been repackaged as mists by now, such as the FluMist intranasal vaccine seen in pediatricians’ offices every flu season.
Inhaled vaccines offer a needle-free alternative for children and adults alike, but evidence from previous flu seasons has shown that the mist doesn’t always reach the same level of effectiveness as a shot.
Only time will tell if the needle-free COVID vaccine provides enough booster protection to be approved and widely distributed in other countries.