LONDON: Researchers who produced the Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine are assessing the use of tablets or nasal sprays to replace jabs.
Lead researcher Sarah Gilbert told a parliamentary committee that “we’re … thinking about second-generation formulations of vaccines” that could replace injections, but they will “take time to develop.”
She added: “We have flu vaccines that are given by nasal spray, and this could be a very good approach in the future to use vaccines against coronaviruses.
“It’s also possible to consider oral vaccination where you have to take a tablet that will give the immunization, and that would have a lot of benefits for vaccine rollout — if you didn’t need to use the needles and syringes for people.”
Both options “will have to be tested for safety and then for efficacy as well, because the immune responses that will be generated by both of those approaches will be a little bit different to what we get from an intramuscular injection,” Gilbert said.
Kate Bingham, who chaired the UK government’s vaccines taskforce, said two injections given by healthcare professionals is “not a good way of delivering vaccines.”
She told the BBC: “We need to get vaccine formats which are much more scalable and distributable, so whether they’re pills or patches or nose sprays.”