Scientists have come up with a new way to get vaccinated against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and it comes with a twist: No needles needed.
This vaccine would instead be aerosolized so it could be inhaled by a patient.
Researchers have tested this vaccination strategy in mice, and it elicited a strong immune response. A team led by researchers from Northeastern University, Rice University, and Rutgers University published a proof-of-concept study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesthis week. The project is still in early stages, but the team sees the vaccine they’re developing as a way to expand the reach of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
“If we can have this new tool, that would be great. It’s easy to produce, easy to ship, easy to administer,” says Paul Whitford, associate professor of physics at Northeastern and an author on the new paper. Such an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine wouldn’t require the precise refrigeration of existing inoculations, and could be dispersed more easily to rural and remote communities. “You just need basic instructions on how to use an inhaler.”