Scientists Are Working on a COVID Vaccine You Can Drink

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What if you could drink the COVID-19 vaccine instead of rolling up your sleeves? No need for needles. Just by “swallowing”, new immunity will be exhibited immediately.

It may be possible within the next couple of years as researchers broaden their focus to mucosal vaccines, including nasal vaccines, and ‘swallow’ oral vaccines such as QYNDR, which has completed phase I clinical trials and is currently on standby. not. We need more funding to conduct more detailed and sophisticated trials that can actually bring a vaccine to market.

The QYNDR vaccine is pronounced “Kinder” because it’s a softer method of delivering the vaccine, says Kyle Flanigan, founder of US Specialty Formulations, the makers of QYNDR. Promising clinical trial results hopefully make QYNDR a viable option for protection against the range of prevalent COVID-19 variants. The findings have not yet been peer-reviewed.

“It’s very difficult for vaccines to survive through the digestive system,” Flanigan said. ”

But it needs funding from investors to advance it into the additional clinical trials needed to review it and bring it to market. This week, Flanigan was in San Francisco at his conference for JP Morgan Healthcare, which is trying to raise its money.

A vial of Moderna vaccine.

Algi Febri Sugita/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

When we talk about COVID-19 vaccines, we tend to talk about the same big names: Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca. But around the world, researchers are working their way up with new names and new vaccine forms, such as the nasal vaccines recently deployed in China and India. are still awaiting data to see if mucosal vaccines will ‘fulfill’ their promise to stop transmission. There is a possibility.

COVID-19 is still here and deadly, but far less damaging than it was at its peak in January 2021 (thousands of deaths per day), according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (about 400 deaths per day). Vaccines and booster doses continue to be available and protect against serious illness for those willing to take them. It’s still available to prevent you from becoming seriously ill. This means that for most people, a positive COVID-19 test doesn’t mean the same thing as it did in August 2020 or winter 2021. .

Scientists hope that mucosal vaccines do more than just protect against severe illness and death. revolutionary mRNA vaccines and boosters have proven to be effective time and time again, but they also prevent infection.

Covid vaccine vials arranged on a light blue backgroundCovid vaccine vials arranged on a light blue background

Swallowed Vaccines and Inhalable Vaccines

Mucosal vaccines differ from conventional vaccine types. The mucosa lining the nose (as in the much-discussed COVID-19 nasal vaccine) or the intestine (as in the oral suspension vaccine, QYNDR). The fact that different types of immunity are produced and begin where the virus enters the body has bolstered a mucosal vaccine as a viable or advantageous option to combat her COVID-19 infection.

Vaccines on the market in the United States (Pfizer Biontech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) are highly effective in preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19, but they do not provide infection. Not as much. Protection, or the ability of a vaccine to prevent positive reactions, especially in current strains. (One of the criticisms of the public messaging CDC faced early in the pandemic was that rather than focusing on the fact that vaccines prevent serious illness and death, it was against the idea that vaccinated people contracted COVID-19. (It was when it seemed to suggest that it was impossible.) Avoiding serious illness is the whole point of vaccination, and the new method appeared early in the pandemic when the ancestral strain of the virus was still present. may update some of the infection protections provided.

Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior research fellow and infectious disease physician at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine, said that new types of immune responses and better protection against infections, such as those induced by mucosal vaccines, are what people expect. He said that it is what he is doing. for future vaccines.

“It generates different types of immune responses, including different antibodies,” Adalja said, referring to the way mucosal vaccines provide immunity, adding that there is a “rational rationale” for pursuing them.

when a new vaccine is available

The FDA has allowed vaccines to be marketed under emergency approval. This has accelerated a regulatory process that requires safety and efficacy data before a vaccine can be rolled out to the masses, but remains rigorous. The public health emergency declaration is still in effect in the United States, and it’s unclear if or how the FDA will return to the longer and more stringent “approval” process that drugs require. An advisory board he will meet at the end of January, where he plans to discuss future COVID-19 vaccinations. Among other things, the committee is expected to discuss the timing of future booster doses and who should receive those boosters.

As for mucosal vaccines, nasal vaccines have been on the market in China and India, but they have not been used as long as traditional forms and have less efficacy data. Such vaccines may have the fastest or best chance of clearance.

“The clearest path is to look at the data on what’s already on the market outside the US,” Adalja said.

Illustration of petri dish with COVID virus particlesIllustration of petri dish with COVID virus particles

Eugene Mimlin/Getty Images

What we don’t know yet

Predicting the next version of omicron is virtually impossible. A vaccine moving through the FDA regulatory process requires science and good data to support its use, which requires research and funding. Vaccine creators may need to prove they offer better protection against infection for vaccines to fill the giant shoe they left in the health system, Adalja said.

“The advantage of mRNA vaccines is their speed, and it will take some time for other technologies to surpass that.

Part of what gave the leading vaccine companies a quick edge was the government-funded Operation Warp Speed ​​program, which was created to help them obtain a COVID-19 vaccine and protect people as quickly as possible. But once the “emergency” state of the pandemic is over, costs become an issue. His CEO of Moderna told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week that he is considering setting the price of the COVID-19 vaccine at $110 to $130 per dose.

Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified physician if you have questions about your medical condition or health objectives. Talk to your health care provider.

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