Australian scientists are hoping for a breakthrough when it comes to COVID vaccines, examining a groundbreaking new idea that would get rid of the need for needles. Respiratory scientists Daniele Traini and Pall Thorardson are undertaking research to potentially turn the COVID vaccine into a nasal spray form, which they claim could have “huge implications” around the world.
If successful, the technology could ease pressure on health professionals giving vaccine injections, cut medical waste and provide better vaccine access to developing countries.
“It this study is successful, it would ease pressure on the medical workforce, as there would no longer be a need for trained personnel to administer vaccinations.”
“There would be no concern for children or adults who have a fear of needles, and medical waste would be cut,” Professor Traini said.
The duo has received a $100,000 grant from the NSW government to work with Sydney-based biotech company Medlab to deliver the vaccine.
The nasal spray technology, called NanoCelle, does not require a doctor to give a vaccine and has already been used to deliver cannabinoids used for pain.
If turned into a nasal spray, the vaccine could also avoid having to be refrigerated.
“It could prove to be a game changer not only for remote communities in Australia but for Third World countries,” Professor Traini said.
Other vaccines, including seasonal flu, are already being administered by nasal spray. Others, such as polio and rotavirus, are delivered as oral drops.
The research will focus on whether the nasal spray can deliver a vaccine dose in the nose that stays intact and functional.
“If this study is successful, it would possibly allow other mRNA vaccines to be delivered by nasal spray, and it would bring a number of benefits,” Professor Traini said.
Original content from The West Australian. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.
Nina Alvarez is a Content Producer for Healthcare Channel. Her interests include writing, particularly about the healthcare sector and the many ways it can improve to further benefit people from all walks of life.