About three dozen coronavirus vaccine candidates are in human testing around the world, all of them using the standard approach of a needle to deliver an injection. China, however, has just given approval for the first nasal spray to proceed to human trials, reports Bloomberg. One hope is that a spray might be more effective than a shot in stopping the spread of the virus through the respiratory tract, though scientists are a long way from figuring out whether that would happen. If nothing else, a nasal spray would likely be easier to mass produce and to administer, per NDTV.
The spray, which makes use of a weakened flu virus in tandem with the coronavirus' spike protein, is scheduled to begin Phase 1 testing with 100 human volunteers in November. This is China's 10th vaccine candidate to reach the human-testing stage. Elsewhere, AstraZeneca says it still plans to have a vaccine ready by the end of the year, despite what it hopes is a temporary stop to testing because of a trial participant's illness, reports the Wall Street Journal. The participant, a UK woman, developed a neurological condition, and a review is underway to determine whether it's related to the vaccine, per the New York Times. (Economists think it makes sense to pay people $1,000 to get vaccinated.)