COVID boosters: Yale researchers find promising results with nasal spray vaccine

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — There has been a lot of confusion about COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots about how many you need and when you need them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said all Americans over the age of 12 should get the new booster shot against Omicron, but so far only about 4% have done so. Now scientists are testing a nasal spray they say has been very effective in lab trials and could one day be a viable option for patients.

From alleviating allergies to protecting against the flu, a fast pump delivers medication straight to the airway. Yale researchers are now testing the promising booster nasal spray.

“The reason we’re focusing on the nasal cavity is because the virus lands there first,” said Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at the Yale School of Medicine.

Iwasaki said current mRNA boosters lose potency over time and aren’t as effective in the nose and airways. Yale nasal spray contains spike proteins from the coronavirus.

“Essentially, it’s a booster shot that has the right vaccine antigen in that bottle,” Iwasaki adds.

For some patients who are reluctant to get the COVID booster because they hate needles, a nasal spray might be a better option. Iwasaki said there are other benefits as well.

“It may have fewer side effects than an injection. Hopefully, this will alleviate such concerns for people who are afraid of the side effects,” she said.

Yale University licensed the nasal vaccine. Iwasaki and a colleague, Mark Salzman, are co-founders of Xanadu Bio, a spin-off company that would allow them to bring the vaccination techniques to production.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. COVID boosters: Yale researchers find promising results with nasal spray vaccine

Laura Coffey

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