The COVID-19 shot, which Oxford University researchers and AstraZeneca Plc jointly developed, suffered a setback on Tuesday when first tests on humans did not yield the anticipated protection levels.
In the trial, which was in the first of usually three phases of clinical testing, only a small percentage of individuals experienced an antibody response in the respiratory mucous membranes, according to a statement released on Tuesday by the University of Oxford. Additionally, the blood immune response was less strong than the one from a vaccine shot in the arm.
Nasal spray vaccines against the coronavirus have received a lot of attention from researchers around the world because the approach is thought to have the potential to prevent infection as well as disease because it may elicit an immune response directly in the airways, where the virus enters the body. The procedure would also be less painful and more controllable than injections.
Products that are administered via the airways have previously received regulatory approval in China and India. The COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine from Bharat Biotech was approved by the Indian Health Minister last month, and the inhaled COVID-19 vaccine from CanSino Biologics Inc. was given emergency permission by China’s drug regulator last month.
While the results of Bharat’s trial have not yet been released, CanSino claims that studies show that their vaccine, administered using a nebulizer device, can develop robust immunity to successfully contain the infection. Twelve volunteers who had previously completed a conventional two-dose immunisation course by injection were also enrolled in the British trial together with 30 previously unvaccinated people.
According to Sandy Douglas, main investigator of the experiment at Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, “The nasal spray did not perform as well in this study as we had hoped.” “We believe that delivery of vaccines to the nose and lungs remains a promising approach, but this study suggests there are likely to be challenged in making nasal sprays a reliable option,” she continued. According to the statement, no significant adverse events or safety issues were reported throughout the trial, which was funded by AstraZeneca.