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Local News

University of Georgia Making Breakthrough on Nasal Spray Vaccine

Credit: iStock

Anzhe Zhang

Scientists at the University of Georgia (UGA) are pioneering a new type of COVID-19 vaccine, one that could be conveniently taken as a nasal spray, and they’re making progress fast. 

The coronavirus nasal spray is currently under clinical trial at the Infectious Disease Lab at UGA.

Dr. Biao He, the lead researcher behind the vaccine breakthrough, spoke about being “excited” with the development as he explained the basis behind developing a nasal spray vaccine to Channel 2 Action News.

“Since so many pathogens come through the respiratory tract, and the idea is, wouldn’t it be easier if we just immunize through the route of infection,” He explained.

He’s team first got the idea of a nasal spray from dogs, who were often treated through such a method for coughs, and from other nasal sprays used to vaccinate against diseases like influenza. It led to He and his team to wonder if creating a nasal spray vaccine for COVID-19 would encourage and make it easier for people to get vaccinated.

“I really feel we are very, very fortunate that what we are doing turned out to be very good and has a great practical application,” He said.

The vaccine is currently in phase two of its FDA-approved clinical trial. There are a total of four phases to be cleared before the FDA can verify both the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

“We began working on new vaccine formulations to combat COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic,” He said, “our preclinical data show that this vaccine not only protects against infection, but also significantly reduces the chances of transmission.”