Maryland, US-based company Altimmune is among the biotechs and research labs trying to find more convenient alternatives and believes a nasal vaccine spray that is stable at room temperature could be the answer.
A nasal delivery method will also produce an immune response at the point where the virus enters the body.
While traditional vaccines delivered by an intramuscular injection can stimulate systemic immunity in the blood, they have not been shown to cause mucosal immunity in the nasal cavity, which may be critical for blocking transmission of the virus, Altimmune said.
The company announced a phase 1 trial is beginning of its nasal spray vaccine just as scientists in the UK said they are considering a similar approach.
A recent study showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine is 76% effective against symptomatic diseases and 100% effective against severe diseases.