JAMA: Trying to Block SARS-CoV-2 Transmission With Intranasal Vaccines

Excerpt from the article:


Currently available COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at reducing symptom severity, but they don’t appear to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from gaining a toehold in the nose. Ensconced there, the virus can stealthily replicate and then, expelled by coughing or sneezing, go on to infect others. The vaccines, all administered as intramuscular injections, induce circulating antibodies in the blood but not mucosal antibodies in the lining of the nose. But what if a COVID-19 vaccine could be sprayed or squirted into the nose? Could such a vaccine induce an immune response in the nasal mucosa, thus stopping SARS-CoV-2 from hitching a ride and spreading?


Studies suggest that individuals who receive injected COVID-19 vaccines may be protected against serious illness from SARS-CoV-2 but can still become infected and spread the virus. In the article, JAMA explores intranasal COVID-19 vaccines and whether they could induce as strong a systemic immune response as vaccines injected intramuscularly.


“We think intranasal vaccines are important because they have the potential to block transmission,” unlike the available injected vaccines, said Martin Moore, PhD, the CEO and cofounder of Meissa Vaccines in Redwood City, California, which has launched a phase 1 trial of its intranasal vaccine.


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