A team in China said it’s been given the green light to begin developing an inhaled version of its COVID-19 vaccine, Reuters reported. CanSinoBIO and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology recently won emergency use approval in Hungary for its injectable vaccine, Convidecia.
The recently issued EUA follows approval already given by Pakistan and Mexico.
“We are pleased to see the authorization by the Hungarian authority for our vaccine, which marks an important step forward in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Xuefeng YU, CanSinoBIO’s chairman and chief executive officer, said following Hungary’s EUA. “As CanSinoBIO continues to receive approvals from various governments across different continents, we are focusing on ramping up production capacity to deliver our one-shot vaccines quickly and safely to countries that are in desperate need of mass protection from this pandemic.”
The company had not yet published a news release regarding the inhaled version of the vaccine. Previous trials involving the injectable product had shown 95.47% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 disease two weeks post-vaccination, according to the company.
Experts have surmised that the next generation of COVID-19 vaccine may include needle-free options, potentially helping to eliminate hesitancy among groups with sensitivity to needles.
According to Bloomberg News, the World Health Organization’s top scientist said as many as six to eight new vaccines may be ready for regulatory review by the end of this year, including ones that don’t require a needle and can be stored at room temperature.
Soumya Swaminathan told the news outlet that several experimental candidates use alternative delivery systems, including more single shot jabs and those administered orally, via a nasal spray and even potentially through a skin patch.
“We need to continue to support the research and development of more vaccine candidates, especially as the need for ongoing booster immunization of populations is still not very clear at this point,” Swaminathan told Bloomberg News. “So we need to be prepared for that in the future.”