Several researchers are finding that administering the vaccine to the site of infection — the nose, in the case of COVID-19 — could be a more efficient way to block the entry of the virus, as opposed to a shot placed in the arm.

A more effective vaccine: While traditional COVID-19 vaccines have been effective in keeping people out of the hospital, it is not uncommon that someone can contract COVID-19 even after being vaccinated, according to Healthline.

  • Researchers hope that the nasal spray will be more successful against infection of the virus, as opposed to the aforementioned shot, reported Healthline.
  • Akiko Iwasaki, who led a Yale research team on nasal sprays, states that traditional COVID-19 vaccines lose effectiveness over time. The vaccine appears to “lack strength in the nasal cavity mucosa and respiratory tract — the region of the body where the virus is most likely to cause illness and from which it is most likely to be transmitted to other people,” according to the Yale School of Medicine.
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  • Iwasaki stated that their research showed that a nasal administration of the vaccine “significantly reduced the viral load in the nasal cavity and the lung compared to injected vaccine alone,” reported Yale.
  • Cornell University researchers have found that a small molecule, N-0385, can “protect against infection in healthy subjects and easy symptoms in patients if used within 12 hours of exposure to COVID-19,” according to Heathline.
  • A COVID vaccine in the form of a nasal spray could target the virus more effectively, and also enable the average person to administer the vaccine themselves, no medical staff or doctor’s visit required, according to Harvard.

Is it safe for humans? As of now, the nasal spray is only being tested on mice, but researchers are optimistic that the treatment could be suitable for use on humans, Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and health policy at Vanderbilt University, told Healthline.

  • If the nasal spray proves to be effective in humans, researchers at Yale state that the spray can be used in conjunction with the original vaccine to fight against emerging variants of COVID.