The pain of having a coronavirus vaccine could be suppressed after scientists at the University of Oxford called on participants to test a new vaccine given by nasal spray.
The team reportedly plan to start a phase one trial of around 30 healthy adults under the age of 40, which could start as early as next week. Participants will receive at least one intranasal dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, with half of the group then randomized to receive a booster dose.
If successful, the trial could expand the reach of the vaccine distribution program by potentially making it faster and less off-putting for people who fear needles to be vaccinated.
It comes after The Telegraph revealed that children could start receiving the Covid vaccine as early as August.
The annual influenza vaccine is already offered to children intranasally to maximize uptake. Scientists are also hoping that a nasal spray vaccine could reduce transmission rates more than injections, because the Sars-Cov-2 virus is mainly transmitted through the upper respiratory tract.
Dr Sandy Douglas, clinician scientist and chief investigator of the Oxford study, said: “There are a variety of people who will find an intranasal delivery system more attractive, which may mean the rate of vaccination is higher in these groups. It could also have practical advantages – nasal sprays have been used successfully for other vaccines, for example the influenza vaccine used in British schools. “
A similar spray is in development for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, the head of the Gamaleya Institute said this week.
Meanwhile, Pfizer has started early-stage human trials of a non-vaccine pill to treat early signs of Covid infection, the company said on Tuesday. If the trials are successful, the pill could be prescribed for people recently infected with coronavirus to block viral replication and prevent them from becoming seriously ill.