Mon | Sep 26, 2022

India and China clear needle-free COVID-19 vaccines

Published:Tuesday | September 6, 2022 | 9:59 PM
A health worker takes a nasal swab sample of a woman to test for COVID-19 before she receives the vaccine in Gauhati, India, Friday, June 18, 2021. India on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, cleared a new approach to COVID-19 vaccination, a nasal version designed to fight the virus right where it enters the body. The vaccine was developed by scientists at Washington University in St Louis and later licensed to Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

NEW DELHI (AP) — India and China have cleared a new approach in COVID-19 vaccination — two needle-free options, one a squirt in the nose and the other inhaled through the mouth.

Regulators in India authorised Bharat Biotech's nasal version on Tuesday as an option for people who haven't yet been vaccinated.

“This step will further strengthen our collective fight against the pandemic,” Indian health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Twitter.

It's not clear how well the nasal version works.

Bharat didn't immediately release the results of its studies or say how soon the new option will roll out.

CanSino Biologics announced Sunday that Chinese regulators have approved an inhaled version of the company's injected COVID-19 vaccine to be used as a booster dose.

The company pointed to preliminary results of studies suggesting the inhaled version revved up immune protection after one puff.

It's not clear if that translated to improved effectiveness, or how soon the inhaled booster will be available.

COVID-19 vaccines today are shots, and they've saved millions of lives and continue to offer strong protection against severe illness and death, even as more contagious variants of the coronavirus circulate.

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