China approves first nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine for trials
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China's only nasal spray vaccine against the novel coronavirus is expected to start phase I clinical trials in November, and it is recruiting 100 volunteer recipients.

It is the only vaccine of its type approved by China's National Medical Products Administration, media reports said.

A leading microbiologist from the University of Hong Kong Yuen Kwok-yung told the Global Times that the vaccine stimulates the natural infection pathway of respiratory viruses to activate the immune response.

The nasal spray vaccination could generate double protection for vaccine recipients - influenza and the novel coronavirus — if it also contains influenza viruses including H1N1, H3N2 and B, Yuen noted.

A Beijing-based immunologist told the Global Times on Thursday that compared with injections, a nasal spray vaccination is easier to administer.

It would also be easy to mass-produce and distribute as it adopts the mature influenza vaccine production technology.

The nasal spray vaccine uses live attenuated influenza vaccine; the other four technical routes China is using to develop coronavirus vaccines are inactivated vaccines, adenoviral vector-based vaccines, and DNA and mRNA vaccines.

The immunologist said the new vaccine may not cause systemic side effects, but side effects may occur in the respiratory system such as asthma and shortness of breath.

It is not yet clear whether immunity generated from nasal spray vaccinations will last longer than for injected vaccines.

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