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China Has Notable New Entry in Race for Vaccine

It's the first nasal spray for COVID to proceed to human trials
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2020 10:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.

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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.)

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