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Everything You Need To Know About The Nasal COVID-19 Vaccine

Recent research indicates that nasal vaccines could become a necessity to definitively face the pandemic, since they would provide immunity to the mucous membranes

Woman performing nasal covid test

Photo: Freepik

LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramírez Ramos

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Leer en español: Todo lo que debes saber de la vacuna nasal contra la COVID-19

A study led by researchers from the University of Virginia indicates that nasal vaccines against COVID-19 could be the definitive option to control the pandemic, which still worries the world due to the spikes in infections that have occurred in recent years. weeks. In fact, Wuhan, the Chinese city where the disease originated, has confined almost a million people again.

The aforementioned research indicates that although current COVID-19 vaccines are effective in the development of serious diseases, they offer a limited response against advanced infections, especially when it comes to Omicron and its sublineages. In this regard, they did multiple tests in mice and found that a combination of immunization with RNA vaccines plus nasal vaccination showed a strong neutralizing antibody response against multiple variants, including the Omicron sublineages.

"Our data suggest that an intranasal vaccine booster strategy will be critical to protect people against emerging variants of concern," Jie Sun, one of the lead investigators, said in a statement from the University of Virginia.

Other research, published in the journal Science Immunology, ensures that an accelerated initiative is needed to promote nasal vaccines. According to the researchers' findings, with the development of new variants, for example, of the Omicron lineage, vaccines and boosters have been diminishing in their ability to block infection and transmission. In this sense, he points out that: "an important unmet clinical need has emerged to block the chain of transmission, prevent frequent recurrent infections and achieve high levels of lasting protection against serious diseases, as well as prevent post-acute sequelae of infection by SARS-CoV-2".

In this sense, the nasal spray vaccines that are being developed would aim more at preventing infection, which usually enters through the mucous membranes, than simply protecting a severe form of the disease from developing. " This has highlighted the possibility of nasal vaccines, with their appeal to achieve mucosal immunity, complementing and probably reinforcing the circulating immunity achieved through intramuscular injections", indicates the publication. So, the nasal vaccine would give a first-line booster against infection, as it would attack the virus from the throat and nose before it could develop more seriously.

We recommend you read: Coronavirus and Reinfection: What can Happen if you Have Covid-19 Several Times?

Nasal vaccines in development are on the right track

There are currently at least 12 nasal vaccines against COVID-19 in clinical development. Four of them "have reached Phase 3 of randomized, placebo-controlled trials," notes the Science Immunology publication.

On the other hand, another investigation published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and led by MIT researchers found that nasal vaccines would not only be effective against coronavirus, but could also be effective against HIV. "These results suggest that the use of anf protein vaccines to deliver antigens across the mucosal epithelium is a promising strategy to promote mucosal immunity against HIV, SARS-CoV-2, and other infectious diseases," he says. the study. However, it is still necessary to carry out extensive tests in humans to verify that there would be no adverse effects.

The truth is that, surely, sooner rather than later we will have the possibility of immunizing our mucous membranes. A great advance for science, in order to control the pandemic and other diseases.