A new, no-needle approach to COVID-19 vaccines is being tested by researchers who are hoping it acts like a virus watchdog in the area where COVID-19 attacks.
“It could be a very, very innovative and new type of vaccine. So, we’re really hopeful of how this could help us with the pandemic,” said Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Dr. Paul Spearman.
Spearman is leading the research on a vaccine known as CVXGA1.
The vaccine is delivered in a nasal spray, like some influenza vaccines.
Researchers believe the vaccine delivered in the nose will help the protection build there and in the upper respiratory system where COVID-19 first attacks and it may do that even better than the mRNA vaccines.
“They do generate some antibodies in the mucosal track, but we think this one has a potential to generate a lot more,” Spearman said. “The difference is, it will generate immunity, not just throughout the systemic circulation in the body but also in the mucosal areas of the nose.”
Like other nasal vaccines, the virus in the COVID-19 nasal version is also live.
Researchers believe this virus is safe because, while it hasn’t been directly tested on people, many have had contact with it.
“The Pi5 virus itself parainfluenza virus type 5 is part of the kennel cough vaccine that’s given to dogs and people get exposed to that. We know they do because that’s been evaluated and as far as we know, they’ve never had symptoms,” Spearman said.
Enrollment begins within a week or so.
Researchers need 15-20 people ages 18 to 75.
They need people who have not had a vaccine and have not had COVID-19.