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10th Nov 2021

WHO “sure” nasal and oral Covid-19 vaccines will become available to the public

Stephen Porzio

The organisation’s chief scientist has said these “second-generation vaccines” could present advantages.

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said she is “sure” nasal and oral Covid-19 vaccines will become available to the public.

Speaking during a live Q&A on the WHO’s social channels, she was asked if there are any new technologies being explored to produce vaccines to combat the spread of the virus.

Swaminathan explained that there are 129 different vaccine candidates that are in some phase of clinical trials and are being tested on humans, along with a further 194 that are in pre-clinical development.

She said it is “unprecedented” to have this number of vaccines being developed for one infection and that different delivery techniques are being explored, including intra-nasal and oral vaccines.

“All of these are what we call second-generation vaccines. They’re still in development. I’m sure some of them will prove to be very safe and efficacious and others may not,” Swaminathan stated.

“So, they do need to go through the phases of clinical trials before we know which of them is going to work better.”

On the potential advantages of these second-generation vaccines, the Chief Scientist said some may be easier to administer than current vaccines delivered through injection.

“This is a very positive development to see so much research going on,” she added.

“I think ultimately we will have a range of vaccines to choose from and different ones may suit different country contexts as well.

“So, I think it will be good to have that choice.”

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