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Taiwan-made Covid spray ‘promising’

FDA director general Eric Domingo told Daily Tribune there has been no approved Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine yet, as well as no pending application for emergency use authorization for such a spray.



A Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine developed by local researchers in Taiwan has shown promising results against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 in animal studies, the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) has said.

National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital superintendent Huang Li-min said the Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine aims to provide protection not only against the original strain of SARS-CoV-2, but also to new and emerging variants of the virus.

Huang added that despite the billions of Covid-19 vaccine doses being administered, the pandemic does not seem to be coming to an end, hence the research project was born.

“It is best that the immune system starts to fight back as soon as the virus enters the body, not when it reaches the trachea or lungs,” he told the Taipei Times.

In the Philippines, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that there is no nasal spray approved as of yet as Covid-19 treatment or vaccine.

In a text message to Daily Tribune, FDA director general Eric Domingo also said there has been no approved Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine yet.

Domingo also said there is no pending application by any manufacturer for an emergency use authorization of any Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine.

Huang also noted that intranasal vaccination may be more effective than intramuscular injections due to its ability to induce virus-specific immunoglobulin A (IgA) in the upper respiratory tract.

He said intramuscular injection vaccines only provide protection to the lower respiratory tract by inducing immunoglobulin G.

Intranasal vaccines, on the other hand, can induce both antibodies, in the upper and lower respiratory tracts, which can effectively reduce serious complications and viral transmission, and theoretically reduce breakthrough infections.

The NTUH research team used a special mucosal vaccine adjuvant, for which it has gained a patent, to develop a new Covid-19 nasal spray vaccine. Its experiments on mice showed that it effectively increased the neutralizing antibody titers in the blood in response to the Delta variant, as well as induced IgA, he said.

Intranasal vaccines are also less likely to cause systemic adverse reactions, he said, adding that a nasal spray flu vaccine has been approved for use in healthy people between the ages of two and 49 in the US, so if new Covid-19 nasal spray vaccines are developed and approved, it might increase people’s willingness to get vaccinated.