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Solving COVID

Trial to study delivering AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a nasal spray

A trial is reportedly set to begin to study delivering Oxford and AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as a nasal spray.

Oxford is seeking participants for a trial to deliver the vaccine it developed with AstraZeneca as a nasal spray, with a recruitment sheet indicating the phase 1 trial would include around 30 healthy participants, the Financial Times reported. It's reportedly expected to take about four months, and the efficacy could then be studied in a larger trial.

"Some immunologists believe that delivering the vaccine to the site of infection may achieve enhanced protection, especially against transmission, and mild disease," Dr. Sandy Douglas said. "We hope this small safety-focused study will lay the foundation for future larger studies that are needed to test whether giving the vaccine this way does protect against coronavirus infection."

AstraZeneca earlier this week announced that its COVID-19 vaccine was shown to be 79 percent effective in a large U.S. trial, though the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in an unusual statement subsequently said the company appeared to have used "outdated information" that "may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data." AstraZeneca soon after released revised data showing the vaccine to be 76 percent effective. Dr. Anthony Fauci called the use of the outdated information an "unforced error" on the company's part, adding it was unfortunate because "this is very likely a very good vaccine."

The Financial Times reports that Russia's Gamaleya centre, which developed the Sputnik V vaccine, is also starting trials of a nasal spray vaccine, with director Alexander Gintsburg saying this week, "This is a very gentle and patient-friendly form of vaccination for children, especially little children, who can be traumatized when they see a syringe."

According to the report, the AstraZeneca nasal spray trial could start "as early as next week."