While the vaccines against Covid-19 have proven to be effective in protecting us from disease, the virus can still invade our bodies through a route unprotected by these vaccines: the nose and mouth. Therefore, a spray vaccine is in development.
The use of masks is precisely to avoid contagion through the aerosols that remain in the air when we speak and even when we breathe. We must bear in mind that the main route of infection comes through the air, being close to sick people.
How to protect ourselves from the virus
The main way to protect ourselves against the virus is to wear a mask, maintain social distance, and wash hands. In some cases, restrictive measures have been effective.
With the advent of vaccines, we can have immunization to a certain degree. The fact of using them does not mean that it will prevent us from becoming infected or that we can infect others. Vaccines work to stop the disease.
The point is that when placed intramuscularly, the vaccines against Covid-19 They generate the necessary antibodies to prevent the virus from attacking cells. However, there is one part that is still exposed: the airways.
Protecting the mucosa: Key to stopping the disease
The source of infection is through the respiratory tract, and these are still vulnerable.
So, to prevent the virus from entering the body, in the first place, scientists must focus on the mucous system. The lining of the moist tissue in the mouth and nose is part of this system, which extends into the gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts.
If a vaccine against Covid-19 can cause the mucosal system to offer an immune response against the disease, our body would be better protected against the virus before it causes serious damage to key organs.
Current vaccines do not appear to elicit an antibody response that is effective in the mucosa, according to what the experts say.
While those infected can create an immune response in the mucosa, those who depend on a vaccine, intranasal vaccines could offer a necessary complement to develop the necessary immunity.
Vaccines in test
As the vaccination process continues, 5 intranasal vaccine candidates are being tested in clinical trials, according to a WHO statement. In the case of the United States, the only company offering a vaccine in these trials is Altimmune.
The spray vaccine is expected to be ready in at least a year.. However, there are concerns about the degree to which an intranasal vaccine would provide a durable response.
While we await the results of these studies, it is important that we follow the current vaccination process, that we maintain prevention and social distancing measures, as well as the use of masks and hand washing.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.