COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine candidate showing more promising signs

COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine candidate showing more promising signs
A COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine candidate is showing more promising signs after undergoing extensive preclinical testing at UAB. (Source: WBRC)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A COVID-19 nasal spray vaccine candidate is showing more promising signs after undergoing extensive preclinical testing at UAB.

Altimmune’s AdCOVID was tested on two strains of mice. Dr. Frances Lund with UAB’s Department of Microbiology is the lead investigator on the study.

“This vaccine, which is administered intranasally, induces good immune response and that it induces both what we call systemic immunity and local immunity,” Dr. Lund said.

This means the vaccine stimulated neutralizing antibodies to stop the SARS-COV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine also energized the immune system’s T-cells to attack the virus and it also triggered immune response in the respiratory tract, the area most impacted by the viral infection.

“If you have immunity in the upper respiratory tract, you’re less likely to get infected and you’re less likely to transmit to anyone else,” Lund said.

Since this vaccine doesn’t involve needles, Dr. Lund says it has the potential to be sent out more rapidly around the country without the need for expensive logistics like refrigeration or freezing.

Lund is hopeful we’ll see some sort of vaccine in the not too distant future.

“We have a lot of people who have been working on this for the last several months and it’s an opportunity to make a real contribution to disease that’s ravaging the world, if we can play even a small role in that then that’s spectacular,” Lund said.

In the next few weeks, Dr. Lund and her team will collect all this data and it will be sent to the Food and Drug Administration to decide if a clinical trial can begin.

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